Trump’s DOL Issued Wage and Hour Opinion Letters

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (“WHD”) released three new opinion letters. These are official, written opinions by WHD on “how a particular law applies in specific circumstances,” and they represent official statements of agency policy.

Monterey County Proclaims 1st Farmworker Appreciation Day

On March 20, 2018, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution proclaiming March 31, 2018, César Chávez’s birthday, as Monterey County’s 1st ever Farmworker Appreciation Day, the result of a combined effort of the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5, Teamsters 890, and La Union Es Para Todos – a union within UFW. According to its Facebook page, the UFW has marches scheduled for Sunday, April 8, 2018, in Salinas, CA, Sunnyside, WA, and Livingston, CA, and for Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Madera, CA, and Oxnard, CA. Please refer to our recent report on protests as protected activity here.

It has been requested that we provide an update on Acosta v. Valley Garlic, Inc. To provide some background on the case, Valley Garlic, Inc. (“Valley Garlic”) hired Farm Labor Contractor (“FLC”) X-treme Ag, Inc. (“X-Treme Ag”) to harvest garlic. In 2015, there was a car accident where a field worker recruited by X-treme Ag fell asleep at the wheel while transporting employees home from Valley Garlic fields in Gilroy, CA. X-Treme Ag did not have authorization to transport employees, and it also came to light that the driver did not have a valid driver’s license. This incident led the Secretary of Labor to file suit against Valley Garlic, X-Treme Ag, and a number of other named individuals.

A common pitfall that we see on nearly a daily basis is employers putting documents in an employee’s personnel file that don’t belong. In particular, a common mistake is maintaining one large personnel file as a “one-stop shop” that includes nearly every document relating to that employee. The problem is that certain documents should not be kept in the personnel file and must, in accordance with the law, be kept separate.

Trump Administration Sues CA

On Tuesday, the United States Department of Justice brought legal action against the State of California, Governor Jerry Brown, and Attorney General Xavier Becerra. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke in downtown Sacramento the next day, discussing California’s illegal immigration and formally announcing the lawsuit.

As we previously reported here under AB 450, the Immigrant Worker Protection Act, employers are required to post a notice at the worksite in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to employees within seventy-two (72) hours of receiving a Notice of Inspection (“NOI”) of I-9s and other employment records.

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