January/February 2017

On January 1, 2017, a number of new employment laws will take effect in California. These laws will have a significant impact on California employers and companies with operations in the state.  Prompt action will need to be taken to ensure compliance, including revising employment policies and practices such as hiring and compensation practices, employee handbooks, and notices. Below is a summary of many of the laws that affect agricultural employers. All are effective January 1, 2017, unless otherwise noted.


I just got back from the Frontier Tech Forum in San Diego which featured a fascinating track on robotics. “RoboUniverse” spent a full day (out of two) talking about robotics in agriculture from the point of views of the technologist, investor and agricultural industry.  These events are important opportunities for Western Growers to develop knowledge and networks to assist our members in mechanizing select operations within agricultural enterprises.

Hank Giclas

By Ken Cooper, WGIS Director of Risk Strategy

As of January 2017, insurers are now required to report all claims to the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB). These include claims for which any medical care is provided and medical costs are incurred, including those involving first aid treatment, even if the insurer did not make the payment.


What does that mean for employers?

(Editor’s Note: The questions and answers have been edited and paraphrased for brevity and clarity.)

J.D. Mesnard was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and has been re-elected ever since.  For the 2017 term, he was elected by his peers to be the leader of the majority Republican caucus and Speaker of the House.

Where were you born and raised? Are you a native Arizonan?

After a seemingly interminable length of time, in December of 2016, Congress passed and President Obama signed new federal water legislation that has already had an impact on water supplies in the state of California.

While it is not a panacea and much work still needs to be done to better manage the water supplies in California and the West, the legislation requires managers of government-controlled water to “maximize water supply” for the benefit of the population.

t was not necessarily ordained that Sammy Duda would join the family business when he came of age, “but to be honest, I don’t think I ever thought about doing anything else.  I have such great memories and experiences growing up in the business and interacting with employees and other family members, it is what I always thought I would do.”

Tim Linden

Across the country, Americans are observing President-elect Trump’s transition to the White House with a range of emotions.  While we may have different feelings about his victory, we can probably agree on this: the Trump presidency will be unpredictable.  And our soon-to-be Commander-in-Chief won’t be affected by protests (from establishment types) that he shouldn’t do or say something only because, “We’ve never done it that way.”

Tom Nassif

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