FELS.net - Labor & Safety
         

2013 Form W-4 Available

We have received several calls to the FELS Sacramento office asking about "draft" 2013 W-4 forms found until recently on the Internal Revenue Service's website.  "Draft" forms published to IRS' website are not to be used.  

Read more: IRS Form W-4 Updated

Bitterness continues after UFW's loss at Corralitos Farms

WATSONVILLE -- Workers at Corralitos Farms are denying union charges of unfair labor practices by management during a recent election.

Read more: Bitterness Continues At UFW's

Commentary: Obama Hits a Foul by
 
Honoring Cesar Chavez 

Ruben Navarrette, CNN 

"...Chavez has significance as a historical figure. It is because of the UFW that farmworkers now have clean water and toilets in the fields, collective bargaining, lunch breaks and other legal protections. But Chavez was never a leader for all Latinos....Last, most Latinos disapprove of the president's heavy-handed immigration policies and record number of deportations....Chavez earned many titles in his life, but "champion of immigrants" was not one of them. He was primarily a labor leader who was concerned about illegal immigrants undercutting union members, either by accepting lower wages or crossing picket lines....According to many historical accounts, Chavez ordered union members to call the Immigration and Naturalization Service and report illegal immigrants who were working in the fields so that they could be deported."

More....

Cesar Chavez, flawed hero of the fields

Los Angeles Times: Opinion
By Matt Garcia
September 25, 2012
LA Times OpinionCesar Chavez died in 1993, but the Mexican American labor leader's prominence continues to grow.  But they have obscured another part of his legacy, one of miscalculation and failure. Read the full opinion article at: http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-garcia-cesar-chavez-20120925,0,112684.story

8 Questions an Employer Should Ask Before Taking an Adverse Employment Action

September 11, 2012

As seen in the West Virginia Chamber’s Human Resources Journal

A wrongful discharge suit can be very costly to your company. These suits involve back pay; reinstatement or front pay until retirement; damages for humiliation and embarrassment; attorney fees; and in some situations, punitive damages. It’s not uncommon to hear of jury verdicts far exceeding $1 million for an individual plaintiff. Attorney fees payable to plaintiff’s counsel can often be assessed, which is on top of the verdict and can easily cost $300,000 to $500,000. Such cases not only expose the company to large monetary risk, they can be very disruptive to both production and morale. 

Read more: 8 Questions Employers Should Ask

USDOL Using "Hot Goods" as a Child Labor Enforcement Tactic

The U.S. Department of Labor has been using the Fair Labor Standards Act's "hot goods" provision for enforcement purposes. "Hot goods" allows the Department to confiscate items produced in violation of the requirements of the FLSA. In particular, DOL has been using "hot goods" for enforcement against alleged child labor violations.  While "hot goods" might make sense to use as leverage with manufacturers of inanimate objects, use against farmers and their perishable commodities can threaten the economic viability of a farming operation.  Here's a report on DOL's use of "hot goods" in Oregon and other places.

FELS Can Help:

Since DOL seems to taking a particular interest in child labor enforcement in agriculture, this might be an opportune time to review your compliance procedures.  FELS Newsletter subscribers can find child labor compliance resources at this link.

If you have questions or comments, please contact us at FELS:  1-800-753-9073 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.