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Farm Labor Contracting

Vineyards are increasingly relying on labor contractors to provide workers for vineyard tasks such as pruning and harvest. There are a number of considerations for vineyard owners to protect against joint employment enforcement risks.

 

Joint Employment

“Joint Employment”—that situation where two or more companies “ employ” a worker for the same job at the same time—has rocketed to the top of hot employment issues. Agricultural workplaces, like vineyards and situations where laborers handle equipment on someone else's premises, are particularly expected to draw increased scrutiny from government agencies. Jointly employed workers come through a variety of staffing models, including farm labor contractors, staffing agencies, vineyard management companies, and leased worker and temporary worker providers. In other cases, joint employees are borrowed from a neighboring vineyard or work for two separate, but related business entities during the same workweek. Three big takeaways for vineyards and wineries using contracted labor: (1) a government agency, court, or plaintiff’s attorney may believe you are a “ joint employer” even if you do not agree; (2) whether you are legally considered a joint employer depends on many factors, including conduct in the field and the parties’ overall relationship; and (3) taking steps to limit exposure to liability is crucial given the increasing likelihood of a joint employment finding.

 

 

 

Toolbox - Farm Labor Contracting

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Item Name Posted By Date Posted
BOLI FAQs Link Administration 1/9/2017
Posters and Notices Link Administration 1/9/2017
Avoiding Contractual Missteps: Wine and Workers... PDF (292.56 KB) Administration 1/9/2017
Joint Employment Webinar Link Administration 1/9/2017
Joint Employment PowerPoint PPTX (3.44 MB) Administration 1/9/2017
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