ACIR Applauds Landmark AG Labor Agreement, Welcomes Senate Comprehensive Immigration Bill
Heat Illness Prevention Program Tool Kits
Navigating Overtime Exemptions Applicable to Truck Drivers
The California Wage Orders contain numerous exemptions from overtime requirements. Sifting through these exemptions can be troublesome, especially when it comes to certain truck drivers. Truck drivers can be exempt from overtime under the California Wage Orders and the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) if they meet certain requirements.
If your drivers are in California the first step is to determine what California Wage Order is applicable. The next step is to look at whether your drivers satisfy the overtime exemptions applicable to drivers provided in most Wage Orders. To determine if the overtime exemption applies it is necessary to consider the type of truck they operate and look at whether their hours of service are regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the California Code of Regulations. Generally, the applicability of these provisions is based upon the type and weight of truck, whether the driver crosses state lines, and the final destination of the product being transported. Where drivers are covered by these provisions it also necessary to determine if they are required to receive overtime provided by the FLSA. The FLSA exempts some employees from overtime requirements, including certain employees engaged in agriculture.
For example, the hours of service of a driver operating a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating over 28,000 pounds, who drives within California and carries products ultimately destined for a location outside of California, will be governed by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Under most California Wage Orders this driver will be exempt from the Wage Orders’ overtime requirements.
Counsel to Management:
Funding Opportunities For Agricultural Equipment
CCGGA Executive Vice President Isom Speaks Out Against More Air Quality Regulations
In a hearing yesterday of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, CA Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations (CCGGA) Executive Vice President Roger Isom testified against the adoption of an air quality plan for PM2.5. Citing numerous regulations already imposed on agriculture, Isom testified that California agriculture is already at a huge competitive disadvantage to other agricultural areas in the US and the world. The plan was eventually passed by the District, but the focus of the plan will be on fireplaces and charbroilers. However, the farm equipment rule being developed by the California Air Resources Board will be included in the plan. For news coverage, see: http://www.fresnobee.com/2012/12/20/3108922/new-valley-air-plan-will-cut-fireplace.html#storylink=cpy.
Solar Equipment May Now Quality for Partial Sales and Use Tax Exemption
Thinking of putting in solar for your farm or cotton gin? If so, you should be aware that the California Board of Equalization has recently ruled that solar facilities may qualify for the farm equipment and machinery partial sales and use tax exemption. Sales and leases of farm equipment and machinery, including solar power facilities, that meet certain criteria are partially exempt from California’s sales and use tax. The farm equipment and machinery partial exemption applies to the state general fund portion of the sales and use tax rate, currently 5.25 percent. Eligible persons who purchase qualifying farm equipment and machinery that is used at least 50 percent in the production and harvesting of agricultural products may claim the partial exemption. If you otherwise qualify for the farm equipment and machinery partial exemption, your solar power facilities that are tied to the local power grid but are not directly attached to qualifying farm equipment may qualify, if they are designed to generate power for such equipment and machinery. For more details, please see the BOE Announcement (click here).
Air District Rolls Out Next Round of Tractor/Loader Incentive Monies
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District has announced the next round of incentive funds for the replacement of tractors and loaders will open on October 15, 2012. This program provides incentives for replacement of in-use, off-road tractors that are engaged in agricultural operations as defined by the California Air Resources Board. Eligible equipment includes but is not limited to wheel loaders, balers, combines, graders or tractors. Funding amounts are based on a dollar per horsepower table as determined by the horsepower of the engine in the new tractor, not to exceed 80% of the eligible costs. Average reimbursement is around 50%. This program will be different than last year’s program in that it is now first come, first served and will be funded on a continuous basis year round. As money becomes available, more tractors will be funded. To obtain an application please visit the Air District’s website at http://www.valleyair.org/Grant_Programs/GrantPrograms.htm#HeavyDuty. The application and guidelines are also posted on our website at http://www.ccgga.org/industry_issues/.
AGI Notices Being Sent to Producers