Overtime and MSPA

We’ve heard some reports of US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division inspectors in some gins in the region recently. No widespread reports, just routine inspections. It’s been a while since we reminded everyone that the rules that apply to gins can be a bit complicated and not routine for either the you or the inspector.

Several years ago, a (long since retired) Wage and Hour inspector worked with National Cotton Ginners Association to create a document that ginners could use to help unravel the rules in language that even I could understand. That document was reviewed in 2008 by a labor attorney in Atlanta. The information in the document is still correct. The Ginners Practical Guide to Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act goes in to enough detail on both of those subjects to  handle MOST of the situations that ginners will see.

Please be aware that inspectors will often point to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for their justification of back wages and fines. The last review of the CFR showed that it was not updated for changes that were made nearly 40 years ago regarding overtime in gins. The Ginners Practical Guide refers to the underlying law and can be relied on. If you get into a discussion with the inspector on the application of the 48 hour partial exemption referred to in an earlier post this season, please let us know and we’ll do what we can to point the inspector in the right direction. We are not lawyers and neither are they. They can only go by what they are told in the CFR…even if it is wrong, they may not know it is wrong. Its not the inspectors fault.

As always give us a call if you have any questions.