Agriculture Labor & Employment

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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

U.S. Visa Systems Down Globally – DOS Continues to Work on a Fix – Expect Delays!

The following bulletin was published by the Department of State (which oversees all consulates/embassies), advising of a global glitch that has stopped all U.S. visa issuance worldwide. The issue has not resolved since the...more

Post Session News

Minimum Wage Hike for Airport Workers - On Monday, the Metropolitan Airports Commission backed a $10 an hour minimum wage for about 2,800 employees of airline subcontractors. Commission members voted 11-4 for...more

Client Alert: Visa and Passport Delays Expected to Continue Through Next Week

On June 12, 2015, the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs (the “Bureau”) first announced that a hardware failure on June 9 had led to technical problems with overseas passport and visa systems. The hardware...more

DOL Presents: The Ghost of Violations Past

On May 28, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed guidance for President Obama's infamous Executive Order 13673 – "Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces" (the Order). Although the stated purpose of the Order is "to...more

EB-5 Project Finance–Investor Visa Option - Creative Financing for U.S. Developers and Businesses

In recent years, developers seeking to raise capital have taken a keen interest in the EB-5 regional center investor visa program. Regional centers are entities designed to use immigrant investor capital to promote economic...more

Sticking up for Their Rights: Employers Taking the Offensive

The traditional posture of California employers apprehensive about “gotcha” wage and hour claims is to hunker down and wait for the next lawsuit. But a few brave souls have taken the offensive. We celebrate two examples here....more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. Budget Update - Late Thursday afternoon, Governor LePage released a change package to his...more

Quirky Question #257, Food for thought – whistleblowing claims against agricultural companies

You are right to be concerned. Under the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), employees who work for entities engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding, or...more

USCIS Temporarily Suspends Adjudication of H-2B Petitions Following Court Order

As of March 5, 2015, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is temporarily suspending adjudication of H-2B petitions for temporary non-agricultural workers while the government considers the appropriate response to...more

Latest Developments from the Connecticut General Assembly: March 3 and 6 Public Hearings

As promised previously, we will be keeping you up to date with developments in the General Assembly. A. On Tuesday, March 3, 2015, the General Assembly’s Labor and Public Employees Committee will conduct a public...more

2/15: Nothing in Life is Certain but Death and Tax Extenders: The Corporate Tax Provisions of H.R. 5771

When Congress met at the end of last year, the primary objective for the meeting was clear - to prevent taxes from slowing the recovery that the economy has enjoyed for the last several years. ...more

EPA’s Recently Released Revised Human Health Risk Assessment for Chlorpyrifos Reflects New Implementation of EPA Policy

The spray drift and volatilization policies were discussed in an October 2014 webinar and discussed in our September 17, 2014, memorandum. EPA’s Revised Risk Assessment Methods for Workers, Children of Workers in Agricultural...more

Remember, The Massachusetts Minimum Wage Increased January 1, 2015

On January 1, 2015, the Massachusetts minimum wage increased from $8.00 to $9.00 per hour. This is the first of three annual minimum wage rate hikes that Massachusetts employers will face due to legislation signed into law...more

Unpaid Wage Claims for Pre- and/or Post-Work Activities: Leaving America's Heartland and Coming to a Corporate Environment Near...

It is nothing new for farms and manufacturing plants to find themselves subject to collective and/or class action lawsuits by employees claiming they should have been paid for time spent "donning and doffing" work clothes and...more

Keep Your Hands Off the Customers … and the Cows

A federal district court in Washington has confirmed that an employer’s relationship with the cows that its employees serviced is insufficient to establish a legitimate protectable interest to enforce a non-compete....more

California Legislative Update: September 2014

In September 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014—Paid Sick Leave (AB 1522) - On...more

House Subcommittee Questions Department of Labor’s Enforcement of “Hot Goods” Provision

The House Agriculture Subcommittee on Horticulture recently held a hearing to address growing concerns that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is using the "hot goods" provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA)...more

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