Gin School Right Around the Corner

The National Cotton Ginners Association and USDA Gin Labs work together each year to put on several ginning schools across the country. The third and final school for 2019 will be in Stoneville, MS from June 4th through the 6th. This is the closest school to the SE each year. Many manufacturers and designers as well as researchers and experts in regulatory and safety issues will be on hand to give the attendees presentations on a number of topics.

This year there will once again be three levels of school covering various levels of experience and detail. Level one is the most basic and is designed for those that are just beginning in the process. Level two is an intermediate level and level three is the most advanced. Most of the levels require the previous level to attend. There is also a continuing education session for two of the three days which typically goes into a few topics a bit more in depth.

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More On SSA No-Match Letters

As you likely know, we work with a lot of attorneys on labor and immigration issues. Sometimes those issues overlap, especially in agriculture. One of the law firms we turn to a lot is Fisher and Phillips. They have feet in many facets of labor law and immigration as well so we trust what they say. Until today, F&P hasn’t had guidance on the new no-match letters. We encourage you to read the document linked below if you have have received a no-match letter already.

Apparently not many gins have received these letters and that’s good. For those of you that have, there has been a good bit of trepidation about what to do. A couple weeks ago, we posted a guidance document from some other attorneys that work in these fields. Now we have another in-depth document written by folks that understand ag as well. We will send out additional documents tomorrow or early next week but we wanted to get this guidance in front of you as soon as possible.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

LINK TO FISHER AND PHILLIPS GUIDANCE ON NO MATCH LETTERS

DSF

OSHA Clarifies Earlier Rules on Drug Testing and Incentives

Way back in 2016 (before the election) OSHA published a pretty comprehensive rule that affected many, if not all, businesses in the US. The rule was fairly controversial initially but not for the stated purpose of the rule. The rule was the electronic reporting rule that required all large and many small companies (including cotton gins) to report their OSHA 300 data to the agency each year. Included in that rule, almost as an afterthought, were two additional rules that dealt with incentive programs and drug testing as they play a roll in timely reporting of injuries by employees.

The additional rules known as the anti-retaliation rules, initially barred employers from post 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

Georgia Gin Safety Round Tables Well Attended

The AgriTrust of Georgia and the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association again put on two Ginners Safety Round Tables. This year the sessions were held at the Heart of Georgia Gin in Hawkinsville and Sconyers Gin in Sycamore.

Topics covered in this year’s Round Tables included Fork Lift and Warehouse demonstrations by MacKinnon Equipment Services, Personal Protective Equipment by Josh White with the AgriTrust, Maintenance and Off-Season Repair safety led by Jackson Hammack (Early County Gin) at Hawkinsville and Lupe Alonzo (Mobley Gin) and Rick Riley (Sconyers Gin and Whse) at Sconyers, and two Lock-out Sessions with Kirby Bailey of Safe Workforce Development and Andy Knowlton of the Southeastern Cotton Ginners Association. Additionally, the Continue reading

OSHA Revises Online Reporting of Injury Data

In a change that was largely expected, the Department of Labor published a proposed change to their Electronic Reporting Rule that requires large employers and smaller employers in certain high risk segments to report OSHA 300 data. The changes would rescind the previous requirement that the larger employers (over 250 employees) had to submit OSHA 300 form information as well as OSHA 300A (summary) data.

Assuming the changes become final in a few weeks, the larger employers and small employers would only have to submit the Summary 300A data. The concern is that the OSHA 300 data contains information Continue reading