Marijuana security guards end overtime dispute after 5-year battle

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A five-year lawsuit about overtime pay has ended after security guards for Colorado-based marijuana security company Helix TCS agreed to drop the action.

The case was closely watched in the industry because of the broad implications it could have had on how state-legal marijuana businesses compensate employees.

According to Law360, Helix and a representative for the guards “said in a joint stipulation they would end the suit with prejudice.”

It was unknown whether the parties reached a settlement over the alleged overtime violations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Security guards who worked for Helix starting in September 2014 joined the suit.

Robert Kenney, the guards’ representative, alleged in the suit that he and fellow Helix security guards regularly worked more than 40 hours a week for a 14-month span in 2016 and 2017 without receiving paid overtime in violation of the FLSA.

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Helix argued Kenney did not need to receive overtime pay under the FLSA because working for the marijuana industry was illegal.

That argument was rejected, and Helix’s appeal then attempted to escalate the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, which declined to hear it.