Partial Overtime Exemption Can Lead to Confusion

During out state meetings recently, one of the topics that seemed to cause the most confusion was dealing with overtime and how to pay it. This article will attempt to refresh everyone’s memory on how that works for gins.

Cotton Gins are in a unique position of having two partial overtime exemptions that give ginners the option of paying overtime after 40 hours (normal) or over 48 hours (partial exemption). There are two code sections in the Fair Labor Standards act that discuss the partial overtime exemption for gins. Sections 13(h) and 13(i) are the code sections in the law that we refer to for overtime exemptions. Gins may use these exemptions for up to 14 weeks.

Section 13(h) is the rule dealing with jobs that are necessary and incidental to the ginning process. A list of those types off jobs are contained in the document linked at the bottom of this article. Think of these as the people that you hire that aren’t running machinery. You can Continue reading

Ginning Wet Cotton Is No Fun

In the past several days, parts of our region have gotten a substantial amount of rain on wide open cotton. This is over and above what happened in the Carolinas with Florence. With temperatures where they are, damp cloudy weather  can lead to some instances (more rare than you may thing) where the ginner needs to take a bit more precaution when ginning.

Wet cotton can lead to wet seed. Wet seed can be tough to gin. Sprouted seed can be tough to gin. The best advice is to let the cotton dry thoroughly if possible. Soft seed will firm up enough to gin. Sprouted seed will drop the sprout a lot of the time and if it doesn’t, the gin and lint cleaners will get it out.

Sometimes producers need to go ahead an pick it before the next storm or front makes a bad situation worse. This is when you really need to communicate with your producers. Round modules can complicate things further.

Please read the paper below. It was developed several years ago and doesn’t take round modules into account but it has a lot of good information.

Recommendations Excess Moisture Prepared by WSAnthony



NC, SC and VA State Unit Meetings This Week – FINALLY

For a third attempt, the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia State Unit meetings for the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association, will be held this week. The first two attempts had to be postponed due to Hurricane Florence’s impact on the area. Many gins and ginners are in some of the hardest hit areas of the state. Even though some gins will be running we will hold our annual issues update and safety meetings this week.

The South Carolina State Unit meeting will be Thursday, September 27 at 10 AM at the the Tri-County Electric Coop in St. Matthews, SC. The North Carolina / Virginia State Unit meeting will be Friday, September 28 at 10 AM as well. Lunch will follow.

We hope to see all our ginners at one of these meetings.


NCC Develops Additional Contamination Prevention Material

This week the National Cotton Council is releasing a video on plastic contamination. The video which is broken into chapters addresses many of the aspects of plastic contamination from the field through the gin. Many of the chapters are directed toward producers and a few are directed toward gins.

We would recommend that you view the video and distribute the link or the video to your producers. We understand the National Cotton Council will be sending materials and the video directly to gins across the country to help spread the word that contamination Continue reading

Are You Ready for an Audit

When we hear the word audit, we (or at least I) think of the IRS but businesses around the country, especially seasonal or that use a lot of migrant or immigrant labor have a lot more to worry about when it comes to Audits. ICE and Wage and Hour have both been stepping up their efforts to make sure employees are both legal and paid properly.

A recent article by attorneys in the restaurant space outlines how much more raid and audit activity ICE has been working on since the beginning of the year. ICE has more than tripled the audits and raids on employers compared to all of 2017 according to the authors. The article goes on to discuss what employers should do to prepare. More than 5200 employers received notices of intent to audit earlier this year. The advice given in the article is good for all Continue reading

WOTUS Rule Back from the Dead

The controversial Waters of the United States rule is back. Earlier this week, a US District Court in Alabama reinstated the rule in 26 states. Ironically not in South Carolina or nearly all of the Southeast for that matter.

The district court ruled that the Trump Administration had not given the public enough time or ability to comment on its plan to declare the WOTUS rule (a 2015 Obama era rule) dead and intend to replace it with something else. Since the public didn’t have enough time in the opinion of the court, the rule is back in effect in a majority of the states. Twenty-four states have other court action pending and therefore the rule will not be reinstated in those states.

A much more detailed article can be found on DTN Progressive Famer’s Site.