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Meal and Rest Break Requirements for Agriculture

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Background: The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) has adopted separate regulations applicable to agricultural and non-agricultural labor. Regulations related to agricultural labor are in WAC 296-131, while regulations for non-agricultural labor are in WAC 296-126. See below for more details about these regulations.

Meal Periods: Employees are entitled to a 30-minute meal period when working at least five consecutive hours. The 30-minute meal period should begin no less than two hours, and not more than five hours, from the beginning of the shift. Employees working three or more hours longer than a normal work day (eight hours) must be allowed another 30-minute meal period during the overtime period. Meal periods are on the employee’s time and do not need to be paid by the employer.

Unlike non-agricultural employees, an agricultural employee likely cannot waive the right to a meal period. This stipulation is due to the differing language in the non-agricultural regulation. The best practice is to require all employees to take and record meal periods.

Rest Periods: Employees are entitled to a 10-minute rest period, on the employer’s time, for each four hours of work time. “On the employer’s time” means that the employee must be paid for the 10-minute rest period. Rest period requirements apply to overtime periods as well. Continue reading Meal and Rest Break Requirements for Agriculture

2017 Washington Dairy Conference scheduled for Nov. 6-7 in Yakima

The 2017 dairy industry annual meeting will be held Nov. 6-7 at the Yakima Convention Center.

General Information

Regular Attendee Registration

Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration

If you prefer to send a check, the registration forms are here:

Please contact Darcel Nootenboom if you have any questions.

New Form I-9 Required Starting September 18, 2017

For a PDF version of this article, click here.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a revised version of the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification. Employers will be required to use the new version of the form (dated 07/17/17) starting September 18, 2017. The new form applies to new hires only. Employers should not complete new Forms I-9 for current employees. Employers must continue following existing storage and retention rules for any previously completed Form I-9.

The fillable PDF version of the new Form I-9 can be found here.

The paper version of the new Form I-9 can be found here.

Supplemental I-9 materials from USCIS are available here. Continue reading New Form I-9 Required Starting September 18, 2017