Labor

Growers get proactive for workers relations

Wage rates, federal and state labor laws, food safety regulations and buyer-mandated audits are making employers’ relationships with staff increasingly more complicated. Workers need to be trained in procedures and best practices, but with the... more »

Great Lakes EXPO speakers to cover labor environment

It isn’t news to growers that the agri-labor market is a challenge. The shortage in able-bodied workers and difficulty filling H-2A visas, plus the added financial burdens included in requirements for utilizing H-2A workers, makes... more »

Guest worker legislation opposed by Western Growers

The Western Growers Board of Directors recently voted to oppose House Resolution 4760, which the group called "flawed" in its attempt to reform agricultural labor. Sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Virginia, the resolution would create a... more »

California agriculture faced severe labor shortage, survey says

California agriculture has a chronic problem finding and hiring qualified employees, according to a survey of farmers and ranchers published by the California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF). The informal survey of Farm Bureau members showed that more... more »

Tougher pesticide safety rules are now in effect

Recent revisions to EPA’s Worker Protection Standard (WPS) went into effect Jan. 2, 2017. WPS is primarily intended to reduce the risks of illness or injury to workers and handlers resulting from occupational exposures to... more »

H-2A struggles to keep up with grower demand

H-2A, the country’s agricultural guest-worker program, continues to grow. According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), the number of H-2A workers jumped from 77,246 to 165,741 between 2011 and 2016. Since 2001, there’s been... more »

States find ways to deal with labor shortages

It’s hard to know the exact number of seasonal specialty crop workers in the United States, but Frank Gasperini thinks 1.5 million is a good estimate. Seasonal worker shortages have been an issue in the... more »

Court stops FLSA overtime regulations

A Texas federal court granted a nationwide emergency injunction prohibiting the implementation of the final Fair Labor Standards Act regulations that essentially doubled the current minimum annual salary level for exemption from $23,660 to $47,476... more »

H-2A wage rates for 2017 projected

The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) has released core data that will be used to calculate the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) for 2017. The AEWR in Washington and Oregon will likely rise 5.44 percent... more »

Feds publish new I-9 employment form

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published a revised version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. By Jan. 22, employers must use only the new version, dated 11/14/2016. Until then, they can continue to... more »


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