Labor Archives - West Coast Nut

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Cal/OSHA Enforcement Trends in Agriculture


As you begin to prepare for your upcoming season, it is an ideal time to implement a new best practice and review your company’s safety program. Safety issues are complex, and it can be a challenge to know where to focus extra time and attention. We highly recommend agricultural operations look at regulatory agency citation data to have a better understanding of their enforcement priorities and to review industry trends. This information will assist in providing a road map of where to focus your efforts as you begin to plan for the season. In this article we will investigate Cal/OSHA...

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COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave: What You Need to Know for 2022


In February, Governor Newsom signed into law SB 114, which reinstated 80 hours of COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (SPSL) for companies with 26 or more employees through September 30, 2022. This iteration of COVID-19 SPSL is not an exact replica of the 2021 SPSL, and employers need to ensure they have a procedure to implement it correctly. In this article, we will highlight the critical elements of the 2022 COVID-19 SPSL and identify potential pitfalls for agricultural employers. Calculating Employees One of the most frequently asked questions in the ag industry is how to determine if you meet the...

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California Legislative Recap for 2021


The 2021 legislative session was an interesting one, still subject to COVID-19 restrictions limiting access to the Capitol, but bolstered by a big surplus budget. All in all, things could have been far worse. The following is a brief summary on the bills we felt were most important to the tree nut industry during this year’s session. AB 73 (R. Rivas) Current law requires the State Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile, and requires the department to establish guidelines for the procurement, management and distribution of PPE, taking...

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Weighing in on Almond Profitability


There is no doubt that production costs per acre in tree nut farming have cut into profit margins. Rising labor and fuel costs are part of the production cost increase, but water availability and cost is ultimately the deciding factor in almond profitability. According to information on almond production supplied by UCCE Orchard Systems Advisor Franz Niederholzer, since 2016, total cost per acre (at 2,200 pounds per acre) has gone from $3,890 to upwards of $4,000 per acre. While almond prices have fluctuated since 2016, they have garnered positive net returns for most growers. Water costs and availability vary throughout...

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Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Protections Edging Toward Permanent Standard


As 2021 rapidly comes to an end, it has become quite apparent in recent months that COVID-19 will continue to be a part of our lives as we march into 2022. Cal/OSHA also appears to agree with this assessment as they are preparing to create a permanent standard for COVID-19. This new permanent standard would most likely be adopted in spring 2022 by the Cal/OSHA Standards Board. In this article, we discuss elements of the proposed permanent standard and the differences between it and the current Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). This September, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board convened a virtual advisory...

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