The California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (Cal/OSHA) has distributed a proposed regulation for the use of agricultural personnel transport carriers (PTCs).  PTCs have been used for many years to transport workers in operations involving the installation and removal of irrigation piping.  But their use came under scrutiny in 2012 when former Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) Chief Ellen Widess required agricultural operations to apply for and obtain a variance permitting use of the carriers or face citations carrying steep fines for operating them without a variance.

Jason Resnick

Recently, a handful of law firms representing plaintiffs began targeting California-based large grower-shippers and farm labor contractors with class action lawsuits alleging failure to pay piece-rate employees for non-productive time (NPT) and break periods. These lawsuits generally allege that employers failed to pay agricultural employees for all hours worked; failed to pay in a timely manner; failed to pay all wages owed to employees who were terminated; and failed to provide an itemized wage statement or keep accurate pay records. In addition, these lawsuits often include causes of action for failure to authorize or permit mandated rest breaks or meal periods and other wage and hour claims.

Jason Resnick

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