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“Those too lazy to plow in the right season will have no food at the harvest.”

— Proverbs 20:4

NCAE News, Legal/Technical & Other Employer Issues:

California Insurance Commissioner Lara reported on Friday that Wesley Owens, 54, of Atlanta, Georgia, and Beau Wilson, 38, also of Atlanta, pleaded no contest to multiple felony counts of insurance fraud and conspiracy in Department 50 of the Los Angeles Superior Court before Judge Kerry White on Friday.

Regulatory Actions:

Last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a new rule changing the methodology for how H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) are determined.

Some 13,000 Mexican migrant workers are owed $6.5 million in unpaid wages, according to a tweet from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of International Labor Affairs, which announced a joint effort with Mexico to locate and compensate the workers.

A new proposed rule that would increase fees for nonimmigrant work visas by an average of 225% has come under fire from a bipartisan group of congressional members.

Local farm owners are saying they’re having to cut back hours for workers due to current overtime laws, and it’s affecting everyone down to you when you go buy groceries.

Legislative Actions:

Several agricultural groups want double funding for farm worker safety in this year’s state budget.

H-2 and Other Work Status Issues:

The Department of Labor (DOL) has published its final rule detailing the revised methodology for determining the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) for H-2A workers and any U.S. workers in “corresponding employment” (performing any duties-in-common).

The federal H-2A guestworker program is widely loathed by agricultural interests.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced its plan to update how Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) are calculated for H-2A workers in some highly skilled job categories.

This report discusses the contribution of farm labor to U.S. agricultural growth over a seven-decade period between 1948 and 2017.

The federal H-2A guestworker program is widely loathed by agricultural interests.

The National Council of Agricultural Employers is offering the next segment of its educational online seminar series focusing on the Department of Labor’s new adverse effect wage rate regulation.

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a proposed rule that would raise H-2A visa fees.

NCAE this Week:

The Senate was in and the House was out this week. 
The NCAE Executive Committee voted unanimously this week to challenge the DOL’s new Adverse Effect Wage Rule. The Actions will be an Administrative Procedures Act challenge filed in U.S. District Court and argue that the regulation is arbitrary and capricious and and abuse of discretion.
The ruling which would disaggregate wages for some routine on farm jobs and replace them with nonfarm surveyed wages is likely to transfer hundreds of millions of dollars from the employer’s bottom lines. The DOL ignored the comments and concerns raised by ag employers in drafting this devastating new regulation and continues the practice of misusing the USDA’s Farm Labor Survey as a wage discovery mechanism.
The Executive Committee felt there was no other choice to protect ag employers from this onerous rule.
NCAE had an opportunity to participate in several panel discussions at the University of California this week looking at several issues in ag labor. Interestingly, preliminary research revealed that farm workers were reporting reduced hours and take home pay as a result of the imposition of overtime mandates.
This is the precise outcome farmers and farmworkers had warned legislators about as they overrode objections and reduced farmworker earnings.
Have a great weekend!

News articles and citations of interest for week ending 2023/03/17:


Veronica Mota marched under the sweltering sun, hoisting a cloth banner of Our Lady of Guadalupe above her head for miles.

State and local officials in Wisconsin said they were horrified to learn of the conditions leading up to the 2019 death of an 8-year-old Nicaraguan boy on a dairy farm, as well as the flawed law enforcement investigation that followed.

As an orphaned child in rural southern Mexico, Abraham Salazar said he began working when he was just 10 years old.

Less than a month after the revelation that a Wisconsin-based contractor, Packers Sanitation Services Inc. (or PSSI), had illegally hired at least 102 teenagers between ages 13 and 17 to clean some of the nation’s most profitable industrial meatpacking plants, one middle school child at the center of the story has, according to a March 3 Washington Post account, “watched her whole life unravel”.

Agricultural Robots Market size was estimated around USD 5.3 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 19.5 billion in 2029, growing at a CAGR of 17.7% over the forecast period 2022-2029 attributed to increasing world’s population and growing need for agriculture automation.

While most kids looked forward to summer break, José Velázquez Castellano did not.

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Phone: 202-629-9320




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