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San Francisco Ordinance Requires Cannabis Business Permit Applicants to Enter into “Labor Peace Agreements”

Earlier this month, San Francisco’s Public Safety & Neighborhood Services Committee unanimously approved an ordinance that requires certain cannabis business permit applicants to agree to enter into a collective bargaining agreement (a “Labor Peace Agreement”) with a “Bona Fide Labor Organization” as a condition of receiving a cannabis business permit.

The measure applies to business applicants with 10 or more employees and amends San Francisco’s existing marijuana licensing law by requiring that applicants actually enter into an employee labor agreement before a permit is issued (as opposed to merely demonstrating that they will do so).

The ordinance defines “Bona Fide Labor Organization” (BFLO) as any organization, agency, employee representation committee, or related local unit, which exists for the purpose (in whole or part) of dealing with employers regarding grievances, labor disputes, wages, hours of employment, or other conditions of work, and which is not financed (in whole or part), interfered with, dominated, or controlled by the employer or any employer association.

“Labor Peace Agreements” are agreements between cannabis business permit applicants and BFLOs that, at minimum, prohibit such BFLOs and members from engaging in picketing, work stoppages, boycotts, and other economic interferences with the applicants’ business.  Under a Labor Peace Agreement, applicants also would agree not to disrupt efforts for BFLOs to communicate with, and attempt to organize and represent, the applicants’ employees.

Mayor Mark Farrell (D) approved of the ordinance on June 14, 2018, and it will become effective 30 days thereafter.

© 2020 Proskauer Rose LLP.


About this Author

Anthony J Oncidi, Employment Attorney, Proskauer Rose Law Firm

Anthony J. Oncidi heads the Labor & Employment Law Group in the Los Angeles office. Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection....

Elaine Lee, Proskauer Law Firm, Labor and Employment Attorney

Elaine Lee is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department. Her practice focuses on representing and counseling management on all aspects of employment law.

Elaine’s litigation work includes defending employers and supervisors against single-plaintiff claims for unlawful discrimination, harassment, whistleblowing, retaliation, and wrongful termination, as well as class action wage and hour disputes. In addition, Elaine advises clients on compliance with state and federal employment laws and develops company policies ranging from hiring to firing and everything in between. She counsels clients from a wide variety of industries, including telecommunications, entertainment, retail, health care and finance.

Prior to attending law school, Elaine was a Certified Public Accountant and worked at a Big Four accounting firm for four years.