Posts By: Jason Resnick

WG Legal — New PAGA Amendments: What Does it Mean for Agricultural Employers?

On July 1, 2024, Governor Newsom enacted a historic reform to the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Learn more about the details of these changes and what this means for your organization as Alden Parker and Rebecca Hause-Schultz, partners at Fisher & Phillips, LLP, and Jason Resnick, Sr. Vice President & General Counsel at Western Growers, share how the new PAGA amendments will…

Court Grants Preliminary Injunction to Wonderful Nurseries

Today the Superior Court of California, County of Kern, ruled in favor of Wonderful Nurseries, LLC, granting their motion for a preliminary injunction against the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB). The decision, made by Judge Bernard Barmann, temporarily halts the enforcement of the ALRB's certification of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW) as the bargaining representative for…

Wildfire Smoke Regulations and Worker Safety

The Lake Fire in the Santa Ynez Valley has devastated over 30,000 acres as of Thursday, with containment at only 16%. This serves as a critical reminder for employers about the Cal/OSHA permanent regulation on worker protection from wildfire smoke, effective since February 1, 2021. This regulation is crucial for ensuring the safety and health of employees exposed to harmful wildfire…

New H-2A Rates for Select Positions Effective July 8

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced new Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR) for select positions in the H-2A program. These new rates apply to H-2A positions not included in the SOC codes for field and livestock workers (“Big-6” AEWR positions). These wages are instead determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics OEWS Survey. See the full federal register notice here.  New rates for…

New PAGA Reform Law Impacts Claims Filed On or After June 19, 2024 

On July 1, 2024, Governor Gavin Newsom signed significant legislation reforming the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) after successfully mediating an agreement between business and labor groups.  The new bills introduce the most substantial changes to PAGA in its 20-year history, offering numerous benefits to California employers. Key changes include more restrictive standing requirements…

Supreme Court Overturns Chevron Doctrine, Impacting Employer Regulations

The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned the longstanding Chevron doctrine, which required courts to defer to federal agencies' interpretations of ambiguous statutes. The ruling, in the cases of Loper Bright Enterprises v. Raimondo and Relentless, Inc. v. Department of Commerce, could have significant implications for employers due to the numerous regulations issued by agencies like the DOL, OSHA,…

Western Growers Legal: Unpacking Cal/OSHA’s New Indoor Heat Illness Standard Webinar

Join us for a webinar brought to you by Western Growers Legal.  This installment focuses on Cal/OSHA's new indoor heat illness regulation, which applies to most indoor workplaces. Our speaker, David Hornung, Cal/OSHA Heat and Agriculture Program Coordinator will explain the new rule and its impact on business operations. Event Details: Date: July 17, 2024 Time: 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.…

Coalition Sues DOL Over New Farmworker Protection Rule

Seventeen southern states along with the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association (GFVGA) and an H-2A employer, have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor (DOL). The plaintiffs are challenging the new "Improving Protections for Workers in Temporary Agricultural Employment in the United States" rule, set to take effect on June 28, 2024. The plaintiffs contend that the rule grants…

PAGA Reform Brings Long Sought Improvements for Employers

After months of negotiations, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on June 18, 2024, that the Fix PAGA coalition and labor advocates have reached an agreement to reform the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). This agreement aims to curb frivolous litigation and excessive penalties against employers while still safeguarding employees' rights. Below is a summary of some of the key…

USDA Allocates $50 Million to Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the USDA is distributing $50 million through the Farm Labor Stabilization and Protection Pilot Program (FLSP Program) to 141 recipients in 40 states and Puerto Rico. This funding will aid 177 agricultural operations and over 11,000 workers, bolstering the U.S. food supply chain by addressing labor shortages and instability, enhancing…

California Standards Board Moves Forward with Indoor Heat Protection Rules Amidst Board Shakeup

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board is poised to implement long-anticipated regulations to protect workers from indoor heat. However, recent leadership changes have brought additional scrutiny to the process.  Governor Gavin Newsom recently removed one board member and demoted the chairperson of the workplace safety board following their public criticism of his…

Supreme Court Sides with Starbucks in Labor Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Starbucks in a significant labor law case, overturning a lower court's order that required the company to rehire seven employees in Memphis who were fired while attempting to unionize. This ruling will make it harder for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to win court orders when it suspects a company of interfering in unionization…

Western Growers Files Amicus Brief in Support of Wonderful Nurseries

Today, Western Growers Association, alongside ten other associations, filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Wonderful Nurseries LLC’s motion for a preliminary injunction against the Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) and the United Farm Workers of America. The motion seeks to halt the implementation of new labor regulations that will likely disrupt farming operations across…

Western Growers Legal – Sowing Success: How Creditor-Suppliers Can Win with Agricultural Liens Webinar

Learn how to take advantage of various agricultural liens in competitive markets. The fourth in a series of webinars brought to you by Agribusiness Committee of the California Lawyers Association, Business Law Section, this installment focuses on various agricultural liens in competitive markets and features experts June Monroe from Fennemore, LLP and Dean G. Rallis Jr. from Hahn & Hahn,…

Department of Industrial Relations Revises H-2A Supplemental Notice in Response to Industry Concerns

In response to concerns raised by Western Growers and industry partners, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) has issued a revised Supplemental Notice to H-2A Employees, which addresses most of industry’s concerns. As reported here, the agricultural coalition sent a letter to DIR objecting to several aspects of the notice, which misstated the law. The effective date for…

Wonderful Nurseries Files Lawsuit Challenging Card Check Law

Wonderful Nurseries, LLC has filed a lawsuit against the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) in Kern County Superior Court, contending that the newly implemented card check law is unconstitutional. As discussed here, over recent months, a conflict has escalated between Wonderful Nurseries and the United Farm Workers (UFW). In March, the ALRB announced that UFW had submitted…

Webinar: DOL Farmworker Protection Final Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) will host a webinar to cover the recently published Farmworker Protection Final Rule on May 23, 2024 at 12:00 p.m. PT. The webinar will last approximately 90 minutes. Registration is not required, however attendance will be capped at 1,000. The webinar will be posted to their site at a later undisclosed date.   Reminder: The Final Rule will become effective…

APMA’s 2024 H-2A Roundtables

Join Western Growers' very own Jason Resnick at the 2024 H-2A Roundtable for in-depth discussions and valuable networking opportunities! TOPICS THAT WILL BE COVERED: DOL Wage & Hour - 2022 Rule Changes and enforcement updates AEWR Changes and FLAG Certification Processing Visa Processing best practices Cal Vans update Best practices for border crossing and document…

Western Growers Legal: To Arbitrate or Not to Arbitrate? That is the Question. PAGA Webinar

Join us for the third in a series of webinars brought to you by Agribusiness Committee of the California Lawyers Association, Business Law Section.  This installment focuses on why arbitration agreements still matter. Our speaker, Elise O'Brien, a Director from Fennemore LLP, will discuss who's left (with PAGA) standing after Adolph v. Uber and why arbitration agreements still…

DOL Releases Final Farmworker Protection Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor has released the "Improving Protections for Workers in Temporary Agricultural Employment in the United States" final rule, effective June 28, 2024. This rule seeks to enhance protections for temporary agricultural workers in the H-2A program by introducing several changes that will impact H-2A employers. Below is a summary of some of the key changes.  Worker…