Trulieve Sued In Federal Class Action Suit For Firing Workers 'Without Cause' And No Advance Notice

A class action lawsuit was filed in federal court on Dec. 7 against cannabis company Trulieve Inc. (OTCQX: TCNNF), first reported WTXL.

The lawsuit alleges Trulieve is liable under the Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN) of 1988, for failing to provide the plaintiff and all other similarly situated former employees at least 60 days advance notice of their terminations, under certain requirements.

According to WCTV, the suit claims a number of workers were fired “without cause on or about November 29.”

The WARN Act applies in cases where employment loss occurs “at the single site of employment during any 30-day period for 50 or more employees excluding any part-time employees,” per the lawsuit.

The suit states that advance notification was not provided to local government entities where Trulieve facilities are located. The legal document also claims former workers did not receive their respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses, accrued holiday pay, vacation and other benefits, which would have accrued for 60 days following their respective terminations without notice. In addition, Trulieve is also accused of failing to provide ex-employees with health insurance coverage and other benefits.

The lawsuit demands payment equal to the sum of unpaid wages, salary, holiday pay, commissions, bonuses, and ERISA benefits for 60 working days following the employee’s termination that would have been covered and paid under the then-employee benefit plan if coverage continued. ERISA protects the interests of employee benefit plan participants and their beneficiaries.

Counsel for Trulieve provided the following response to WCTV: “Trulieve has complied with all State and Federal laws with regard to reductions in force. Where possible, Trulieve offered impacted employees new positions at the same site or at other sites in the area. Where transfers were not feasible or accepted, employees were offered severance packages.”

Not A Good Year For Trulieve

This latest lawsuit comes on the heels of another undesirable event involving Trulieve. This year, the Florida-headquartered multi-state operator was at the center of media attention following the death of one of its employees. 

A report filed at the time by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) stated that at around 11 p.m. on Jan. 7, 2022,  Lorna L. McMurrey, 27, complained that she could not breathe presumably due to cannabis kief (cannabis dust) in the facility where she was grinding and packaging cannabis into prerolls. McMurrey was taken to a local hospital where she died shortly thereafter.

Both McMurrey's family and co-workers spoke to the press about the case, after which Trulieve finally came out with an official statement confronting some of the reported details.

It seems that the investigation into what happened to Lorna McMurrey and whether or not Trulieve bears any responsibility for her death is still ongoing.

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Photo: Benzinga; Sources: courtesy of jarmoluk and lindsayfox via Pixabay

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