Growers and Farm Labor Contractors have an opportunity to attend a class on agricultural laws and regulations. AgSafe will host the event in Holtville Sept. 26. All topics will be covered for both beginning and advanced FLCs at a level that is appropriate for their experience
Which industries have shown the most employment growth in California over the past eight years? Software development, check. Computer systems design, check. On-line retail, check. Specialty health care services, check.
Sexual Harassment is not to be taken lightly. Sacramento’s Mercy General Hospital learned this the hard way when a 2012 federal court jury awarded a former Physician’s Assistant with $168,000,000 -- yes that’s $168 million dollars. At the time, it was the largest sum to be awarded to a single plaintiff in an employment case. The plaintiff claimed to have submitted at least 18 formal workplace complaints during her two year employment with the hospital.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posted its interim final rule regarding the handling of retaliation complaints under the whistleblower provisions of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Section 402 of the FSMA, which applies to an “entity engaged in the manufacture, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding, or importation of food” protects workers who report or testify about food safety concerns against retaliation and ensures food safety concerns raised by employees are taken seriously.
An important crossroads for U.S./Canadian trade relations is upon us and Western Growers urgently needs your help to make an impression with our northern neighbor. This Friday, February 14th, the Government of Canada (GoC) is holding a webinar to seek input on enhancing trading practices and financial risk mitigation for the Canadian fresh produce sector.
In 2007, Scientific Certification Systems sponsored a Draft Trial Standard for Agricultural Sustainability through the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This Draft Trial Standard was hotly debated and viewed by many as unworkable. In fairly short order, the Leonardo Group (a charitable organization that facilitates the development of national voluntary standards) announced the development of a multi-stakeholder process to develop a proposed National Standard for Agricultural Sustainability.
California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer along with Oregon Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, all Democrats, introduced the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 today. The bill provides congressional direction to federal agencies responsible for implementing federal regulations affecting operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP).
President and CEO of Western Growers Tom Nassif released the following statement in response to the introduction today of the California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014:
“The state of California is facing potentially devastating drought conditions and Western Growers’ members and other producers across the state welcome the introduction of California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 by Senators Feinstein and Boxer.
The California Emergency Drought Relief Act of 2014 provides congressional direction to federal agencies responsible for implementing federal regulations affecting operations of the Central Valley Project (CVP) and the State Water Project (SWP). The legislation mandates that for the duration of the current drought emergency that these agencies act with a sense of urgency and be as flexible as the law allows in order to minimize water supply reductions resulting from the application of those regulations. If enacted these changes would provide assistance to water users and our farmers who face critical shortages and as such Western Growers supports passage of this legislation in the Senate.
We hope that this bill will be promptly taken up and passed in the Senate so it can move quickly to a conference with the House bill passed last week. I believe if reasonable accommodation can be made between the two and merged into a single bill in a bipartisan effort, benefits can be realized by all California water users.
As we await Congressional action, we urge the Obama Administration to act with all due speed and exercise all discretion to facilitate water flow and transfer for the remainder of the year as precipitation falls.”
The Treasury Department announced today more changes to the large employer mandate. The mandate requires employers with 50 or more full time equivalent employees (“employees”) to offer health benefits to full-time employees or face potential tax penalties (smaller employers are not subject to the mandate). The mandate was set to begin January 1, 2014. The Obama Administration previously delayed the mandate in the summer of 2013 until 2015.
California Republicans succeeded in passing H.R. 3964 (Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Emergency Water Delivery Act), a measure sponsored by Congressman David Valadao (R-Hanford), largely along party lines with a vote of 229-191. Valadao said, “While Californians are dealing with the brunt of the water shortage, this issue affects the entire country.