Ex-employee sues Longmont hemp firm in overtime dispute

LONGMONT — A former employee of Boulder Hemp, a trade name for Longmont-based hemp grower and CBD extractor Saint Vrain Research LLC, is suing the firm for allegedly failing to properly compensate him for overtime work. Joshua Prieto, the employee who filed the suit this week in U.S. District Court in Denver, claims Boulder Hemp violated the Fair Labor Standards Act during his time as a laborer with the company between 2017 and 2020.  Specifically, Prieto, whose duties included “performing physical work such as helping grow and pick plants, making hash, picking up supplies and materials for farm work, cleaning around the farm and mowing the lawn,” alleges in court documents that he has misclassified as an independent contractor “only for tax purposes and for defendant’s convenience.”  As a contractor, Prieto was ineligible for overtime pay despite regularly working more than 40 hours in a week, the complaint claims. In 2019, he was reclassified as a regular hourly employee but still wasn’t paid overtime.  Boulder Hemp “knew or showed reckless disregard for whether the way they paid plaintiff violated the FLSA,” the complaint said. Boulder Hemp representatives did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. Prieto’s suit demands damages including unpaid overtime with interest and penalties.  © 2020 BizWest Media LLC
Source: BizWest

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