Agricultural Employer Alert: Department of Labor statement on withdrawal of proposed rule dealing with children who work in agricultural vocations

April 27, 2012 at 3:01 am | Posted in agriculture, Employee, Employer, Employment Law, Harvesting, I9, Immigration, New employment laws/amendments | Leave a comment
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The U.S. Department of Labor today – April 26, 2012 – issued the following statement regarding the withdrawal of a proposed rule dealing with children who work in agricultural vocations:

“The Obama administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations. The Obama administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations.

“As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations.

“The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama administration.

“Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”

This clearly has an impact not on the family farms that would have been affected by the rule change.  It is also interesting that the Administration has backed away from this issue while continuing to address immigration enforcement issues via Form I-9 audits, and the fines and criminal penalties associated with those audits.


Employers get yet another reprieve from the NLRB posting requirement

April 25, 2012 at 1:56 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Just last week, the D.C. Circuit Court issued an injunction delaying the effective date of the NLRB’s Final Rule requiring most employers to post a notice of employee rights in their workplaces. The Final Rule was initially scheduled to take effect on the last of April 2012.  The D.C. Circuit Court’s ruling postpones the posting requirement indefinitely.  

With an active NLRB under President Obama’s administration, this is not a dead issue and we will hear about it again soon.  In the meantime, employers need to be sure to have their other mandatory postings up to date, including a current minimum wage rate poster as the Department of Labor has been active in visiting employers to review compliance with the posting requirements.  


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