Category Archives: Employment/Labor Law

Difference Between an ICE Audit & an ICE Raid: Are You Prepared?

Numerous businesses–both agricultural and others–have faced audits or raids conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement in recent years. Dr. Ellen Jordan, Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Dairy Specialist, and I published a fact sheet outlining the difference between an ICE audit and an ICE raid and discussing what a business owner should do to be adequately prepared in the event either of these occur.  From putting policies in place long before ICE ever knocks on the door, to understanding the legal rights afforded to a business facing an audit… Read More →

Hiring & Firing on the Farm: What You Need to Know

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Forage magazine on considerations for agricultural employers when hiring and firing employees. There are a number of considerations for employers to keep in mind from thoroughly investigating applicants to ensuring proper paperwork is completed to knowing what question to ask (and not ask!) in an interview.  Additionally, if the time comes to let someone go, employers should be aware of the law regarding termination and ensure they play by the rules. My article is available here and I also recently interviewed… Read More →

July 28, 2017 Weekly Round Up

It’s the last Friday in July!  I hope everyone is staying cool during this summer heat.  Last week, I did a presentation via distance technology to the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association meeting in Kerrville.  Welcome to those of you joining who attended the livestock guardian dog session! Here are a few ag law stories in the news.  As you will see, two of these items are frequent fliers on the Weekly Round Up! *USCIS issues new form I-9, mandatory September 18.  The US Customs and Immigration… Read More →

March 3, 2017 Weekly Round Up

I’m sorry for missing our Round Up last Friday, I was out with sick little ones.  Hopefully now, we are all on the mend. Here are some of the ag law stories in the news recently. * How to audit your farm’s I-9 forms.  Current immigration issues and discussions have had a lot of folks really paying attention to their employee paperwork.  Remember, all employers must have I-9 forms on file for all employees.  For more background info on this requirement and the nuts and bolts of completing… Read More →

February 10, 2017 Weekly Round Up

This week I traveled to Plainview for the Hale/Swisher County Crops Conference.  Welcome to those of you joining from that presentation.  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. * New I-9 Form required to be used by employers.  The Department of Labor has updated the I-9 Form.  No major modifications were made, but employers should be aware of and utilize the new form as of January 22, 2017.  For more background on the I-9 requirements, click here to read a fact sheet… Read More →

September 16, 2016 Weekly Round Up

We hope everyone is enjoying some fall weather and football on tv!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. Appellate Court Reverses Decision, Finds EPA Violated Privacy of Farmers and Ranchers.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth has reversed a trial court decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed by National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation against the EPA for releasing farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information to environmental groups.  This case began when the EPA released… Read More →

Workers’ Compensation and Agriculture

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman outlining workers’ compensation laws and agriculture.  This is a complex area of law, and the rules differ by state, but it is extremely important for farmers and ranchers and employees to be aware of the law in their state. To read the article, click here. (Note:  You may remember from a prior Weekly Round Up that the New Mexico Supreme Court recently held that the agricultural laborer exclusion to the NM Workers’ Compensation law was unconstitutional.  This article was written prior… Read More →

July 8, 2016 Weekly Round Up

Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. * NM Supreme Court Holds Agricultural Exemption to Workers Compensation Law Unconstitutional.  Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals holding that an exemption excluding farm and ranch laborers from mandatory workers compensation coverage was unconstitutional.  [Read full opinion here.]  I previously wrote a blog post explaining this issue and outlining the Court of Appeals opinion.  To read that, click here.  Although the Court agreed that the provision was unconstitutional, it… Read More →

Extension Fact Sheet: Child Labor Law & Agriculture

I recently published an Extension Fact Sheet on the subject of child labor laws and agriculture.  This is a complex topic and one of which many producers need to be aware.  To download a copy of the fact sheet, click here.

Pesticide Drift Liability (Part 2): Landowner Liability for Independent Contractor

In Part 1 of this series, we focused on potential legal claims that could be brought against a landowner if spray drift occurred.  An important related question exists for any farmer or rancher who uses independent contractors, like an aerial applicator for example, to apply the pesticides.  Can the landowner be liable for the acts of his independent contractor?  This is a critical question that has not yet been answered by the Texas Supreme Court.   What is an independent contractor? The starting place for any discussion of… Read More →