Region 28 Wins Injunction Against Arizona Cannabis Dispensary, Ordering Reinstatement of Fired Union Supporter and a Stop to Threats, Promises, and the Impression of Surveillance
Phoenix, Arizona — On June 23, 2022, Judge G. Murray Snow of the United States District Court for the District of Arizona issued an injunction requiring Gilbert, Arizona cannabis dispensary Absolute Healthcare d/b/a Curaleaf Arizona (Curaleaf) to reinstate a fired union supporter. The injunction also enjoins Curaleaf from threatening employees with losing their tips if they form a union, promising employees benefits if they don’t join a union, and creating an impression that employees’ union activities are being kept under surveillance. It requires Curaleaf to post the court’s order at its store and convene a meeting in which the order will be read to its employees by a Curaleaf manager or NLRB official.
The injunction was issued based on a petition for temporary injunctive relief filed by Cornele A. Overstreet, Regional Director of Region 28 of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), on behalf of the NLRB. Section 10(j) of the National Labor Relations Act authorizes the NLRB to seek injunctions against employers and unions in federal district courts to stop unfair labor practices where, due to the passage of time, the normal Board processes are likely to be inadequate to effectively remedy the alleged violations.
The petition alleged that Curaleaf unlawfully fired the employee leader of a campaign among its employees to secure union representation by United Food and Commercial Workers, Local 99 (UFCW, Local 99) and that Curaleaf made statements that coerced its employees in exercising their right to organize a union. The petition alleged that injunctive relief was necessary to prevent irreparable harm to Curaleaf’s employees’ right to organize a union.
The granted relief will remain in effect during the pendency of administrative proceedings before the NLRB. In those proceedings, an administrative law judge has issued a decision finding that Curaleaf engaged in the unfair labor practices alleged. Curaleaf has filed exceptions to the administrative law judge’s decision, which remain pending before the NLRB.
“Workers have a right to form a union without fear of retaliation or coercion,” said Regional Director Overstreet. “Judge Snow’s injunction will protect that right while the NLRB considers whether to uphold the administrative law judge’s decision.”
Field Attorney Judith E. Dávila of NLRB’s Region 28 represented Regional Director Overstreet in the Section 10(j) proceedings before Judge Snow.
Established in 1935, the National Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that protects employees from unfair labor practices and protects the right of private sector employees to join together, with or without a union, to improve wages, benefits and working conditions. The NLRB conducts hundreds of workplace elections and investigates thousands of unfair labor practice charges each year.