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Oregon Cannabis: Employment Law Issues for Struggling Businesses

We all know the Oregon cannabis industry is struggling. We write often about the causes on a macro level, possible solutions, and what we see as business litigators. We haven’t written much about one of the basic areas of employment law that applies to Oregon marijuana businesses: workers rights to wages and employer responsibilities. As marijuana businesses shutter, employees and employers should pay careful attention to Oregon’s wage laws. This post addresses basic things marijuana employees and employers ought to know about paying wages when employment ends.

No formal contract is required to create an employment relationship

There is no requirement under Oregon law for a formal contract to establish an employment relationship. As long as the ordinary elements of contract formation are present an employment relationship exists. Usually this means that the person for whom the service is performed (employer) agrees to have another perform the service (employee) for a certain remuneration (wages). And where the putative employer has a right of control over the services provided by the putative employee.  Typically this boils down to compensation and right-of-control.

When these elements are present an employer’s promises of wages and benefits are binding. On the flip side, the general

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