Seminar: Fair Chance Hiring For The Cannabis Industry

Seminar: Fair Chance Hiring For The Cannabis Industry

By Eliana Green and Diya Chopra.

On July 16th, national legal nonprofit Root & Rebound (R&R) will host a training on Fair Chance Hiring for the cannabis industry, in partnership with CannaSafe and OpenNest Labs. The training will cover hiring policies that require all job applicants be given the opportunity to introduce themselves and their qualifications for a job before a prospective employer runs a background check and assesses a conviction. Through this training, cannabis companies will learn what Fair Chance Hiring means and looks like in practice; the benefits of employing people with records; and how to make this a reality at their companies.

It goes without saying that the way forward, in the grossly inequitable legal cannabis industry, is to begin making space at the table for those harmed by the War on Drugs (WOD). As Chopra explains, “There is no better way to start doing this than by learning from an organization with boots on the ground. R&R serves those impacted by the WOD who are re-entering society from prison on a daily basis. They understand the needs of these individuals and the challenges they face when it comes to a range of issues, including securing gainful employment.” Green will lead the workshop, where attendees can “expect to gain a much better understanding of these challenges and how they can proactively take steps to give these folks a fair shot at getting a job in the cannabis industry.”

Workshop Details

Date: July 16, 2020

Time: 12-1:30pm PST

Where: Register here

Cost: While this training is free, a donation of $50 to support R&R’s work is strongly suggested. Participants can donate here.

The training will:

  • kick off with a personal story from a R&R staff member and formerly incarcerated woman, who will speak to her lived experience re-entering society and her involvement in the recently enacted Fair Chance Act (the “Ban the Box” law);
  • provide a brief overview of the history of the War on Drugs;
  • guide companies to remain in compliance with state Fair Chance Hiring laws;
  • review incentives of hiring Fair Chance Workers;
  • provide best practices to onboard and train workers with records; and
  • guide employers to kickstart their hiring pipelines.

California’s Ban the Box Law (Fair Chance Act)

California’s Ban the Box Law went into effect on January 1, 2018. Under this law, which applies to all employers with five or more employees (subject to some exceptions), employers are prohibited from asking applicants about their conviction histories on initial job applications or during interviews until they make an offer of employment. The law covers most entry-level positions in the cannabis industry. Where an application does have a history which comes up after an offer has been extended, an employer must assess the applicant on an individual basis, taking into account the offense, the time since the offense, and the nature of the job. There is an appeal process afforded to applicants under this law.

Eliana is an attorney at Root and Rebound and an Equal Justice Works Fellow sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Morgan Lewis & Bockius. Diya is the Director of Strategy and Advocacy at OpenNest Labs, a Los Angeles based venture studio driving cannabis adoption as a force for positive change.

The preceding article is from one of our external contributors. It does not represent the opinion of Benzinga and has not been edited.

Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash


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