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EPA Publishes Worker Protection Standard Final Rule

In a November 2, 2015, Federal Register notice, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final rule revising the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) Worker Protection Standard (WPS). ...more

AgriBiz Alert: OSHA Targets Agribusiness Industry with New Citations

In recent months, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) cited several agribusiness employers for alleged violations of its standards, proposing significant penalties against them....more

A Legislative El Niño for California?: New 2016 Employment Laws for the State’s Private Sector Employers

Experts are predicting a 95% chance of heavier-than-usual seasonal rainfall this year in Southern California based on the phenomenon known as “El Niño.”  Did the California Legislature and its Governor produce a comparable...more

Food and Beverage Alert (US) - October 2015

FSMA will have major impact on dietary ingredient suppliers, expert says. The biggest change in food regulation in the US in the past 75 years will have a major effect on the suppliers of dietary ingredients, a food-quality...more

Empacadoras de Papas Pagaran $450,000 Para Resolver Demanda de Discriminación por Acoso Sexual y Represalias

Por lo menos 13 Mujeres en la Planta de Monte Vista Fueron Abusadas Física y Verbalmente y Tres Despedidas Por Rechazar Avances o Quejarse, Alega la Agencia Federal - DENVER - Dos empacadoras de papas pagarán $450,000...more

EPA Announces Revisions to Its Worker Protection Standard

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced revisions to its worker protection standard. EPA states that these revisions are intended to “enhance the protections provided to agricultural...more

Sixth Circuit Takes the Bait: Worm Farm Employees Fit Under FLSA Agricultural Exemption for Overtime

Providing legal scholars nationwide a unique opportunity to opine on worm-farming, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held on Friday, October 2, that farm workers involved in the growing of bait worms are exempt overtime...more

Sixth Circuit Grants Summary Judgment as to Class, Based on FLSA Agriculture Exemption

Is the saying “fish or cut bait” dead? If you are ever in need of sleep, pull out your copy of the U.S. Code and traipse through the exemptions contained in section 13 of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. § 213. We’re all familiar with the...more

EPA Issues New Rule to Protect Farmworkers from Pesticide Risks

Against a backdrop of higher-profile rules, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a new Worker Protection Standard (WPS) on September 28 that imposes additional requirements on farm owners to protect farmworkers...more

All Over But the Penning: the California Legislature Completes its Work for 2015

The California Legislature adjourned its 2015 regular session early last Saturday morning. It is now up to Governor Brown to sign or veto the last of the Legislature’s 2015 work product. He has until Sunday, October 11, to...more

EEOC Wins Jury Verdict of over $17 Million for Victims of Sexual Harassment and Retaliation at Moreno Farms

Florida Farm Managers Subjected Women Workers to Coerced Sex, Groping and Verbal Abuse, Then Fired Them for Objecting, Federal Agency Charged - MIAMI -- A federal jury has returned a unanimous verdict awarding a total of...more

Must Poultry Employers Comply with Terms of Letter from Heads of USDA and OSHA?

OSHA recently reminded the Poultry Industry that it has not lost interest in a multiple front attack on processors, as shown by the almost $1,000,000 in citations issued against a Midwestern processor. You should view these...more

Last Call: California Legislature Makes Final Push for 2015 Session

The California Legislature reconvened on Monday, August 17, to finish its work for the 2015 regular session, which must end by September 11. The following bills are of particular interest to California private sector...more

August 2015 Immigration Alert

I. USCIS Issues Guidance on When an Amended H-1B Petition Is Required After Matter of Simeio Solutions, LLC - On July 21, 2015, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) released a policy memorandum...more

EEOC’s “Reverse” National Origin Discrimination Suit Survives Motion to Dismiss

This week, a federal district court ruled that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made sufficient factual allegations of intentional discrimination against a local farming company to survive a motion to...more

Beware State Wage and Hour Laws: Washington Supreme Court Upends Piece Work Calculations

Whenever I discuss federal law here on the blog, I usually add a disclaimer that reminds employers to check state and local laws before proceeding. With the proliferation of minimum wage increases, minding state and local...more

Assembly Bill 266 provides long-awaited medical marijuana regulatory framework in California

In 1996, California voters passed Proposition 215 and California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. Now, 20 years later, AB 266 looks like the state’s best chance at regulating the cultivation and...more

Washington Employers Must Pay Piece Rate Workers Additional Rest Break Compensation

With some limited exceptions, Washington State wage and hour rules require that workers receive a paid 10 minute rest break for every four hours worked. The Washington Supreme Court has now expanded employer obligations in...more

Washington Piece-Rate Workers to Receive Separate Rest Breaks

The expansive interpretation of meal and rest break regulations continues in Washington State, as the state's highest court ruled in Demetrio v. Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc., Case No. 90932-6 (Wash. Sup. Ct. July 16, 2015),...more

Washington Piece-Rate Workers to Receive Separate Rest Breaks

The expansive interpretation of meal and rest break regulations continues in Washington State, as the state's highest court ruled in Demetrio v. Sakuma Brothers Farms, Inc., Case No. 90932-6 (Wash. Sup. Ct. July 16, 2015),...more

EEOC Sues Vita Plus for Disability Discrimination

Agricultural Company Fired Driver Due to His Diabetes, Federal Agency Charged - DETROIT - Vita Plus Corporation, an agricultural company with a facility in Gagetown, Mich., violated federal law by discriminating against...more

Zoria Farms to Pay $330,000 for Sexual Harassment, Retaliation Against Farmworkers in EEOC Suit

Dried Fruit Processor Supervisors Sexually Harassed Latina Farmworkers, Then Fired Those Who Complained, Federal Agency Charged - FRESNO - Zoria Farms, which once operated one of the largest processors of dried fruits...more

Visa Processing Nearly Back Online After Critical Hardware Failure, but Bottleneck May Take Weeks to Clear

After a major hardware failure on June 9th that created significant delays in processing and issuing visas, the Consular Consolidated Database (CCD) for U.S. Embassies and Consulates worldwide is nearly back online. As of...more

System Glitch Leads To Freeze On US Travel Visas

Since June 9th a computer glitch has stalled visa processing at U.S. embassies all over the world. The hardware malfunction has kept crucial biometrics information (including fingerprints) from reaching foreign U.S....more

Glitch in State Department Systems Causing Worldwide Visa Issuance Delays

U.S. embassies and consulates abroad recently suspended issuing any U.S. visas as a result of worldwide technical issues with State Department computer systems. These technical problems cause considerable delays to foreign...more

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