October 3, 2013

Advice for Farm Employers

The use of the "Notice of Intent to Take Access" mechanism of the ALRB regulations opens agricultural employers to possible allegations of unfair labor practices.  

To avoid problems, farm employers should remember some basic rules about dealing with UFW staff and volunteers: 

·       UFW agents are lawfully entitled to take access only after the union has filed with the regional ALRB office a Notice of Intent to Take Access and has served a copy of that notice on the employer.
·       UFW agents may take access only for one hour in the morning before work begins, one hour at the meal period, and one hour at the end of work.
·       While UFW organizers are on site, have supervisory personnel stay away from the area where workers and organizers are talking or distributing literature.
·       Make sure supervisors do not interrogate workers about what was said or what UFW organizers gave them; this opens you up to a potential unfair labor practice charge. 
·       Inform any farm labor contractors working on site about the situation; the FLC's workers are considered your employees under the Agricultural Labor Relations Act.
·       If you require access through a specific gate and require visitors to sign in, you can insist that UFW visitors do so.  You can limit them from entering actual rows where crops are produced; limit the speed of vehicles to 1 to 2 miles per hour; document the names of organizers even if you don't require visitors to sign in.
·       If you have fences with gates, it is advisable to keep them locked and direct visitors to the main gate.

Click here for further useful information on What Should an Ag Employer Do?

If you have further questions or concerns, please contact FELS at 800-753-9073 or info@fels.net.

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