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|Best Practices Agricultural Businesses Should Follow When Creating or Revising an Employee Handbook|
Melissa J. Jackson; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
November 2, 2014, previously published on October 15, 2014An employee handbook is one of the most important tools employers in the agricultural industry have at their disposal to communicate with employees about important workplace issues. It also can serve as an excellent defense to claims. Having a handbook signals to employees that the business regards...
|Steer Clear of Employment Law Issues During Harvest Season|
Karl W. Butterer; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
November 2, 2014, previously published on October 15, 2014Harvest time is often the busiest time of the season for Michigan’s farms, orchards, vineyards and other agricultural operations. It’s also peak employment season, requiring new workers and resources to keep up with the demands of the harvest, the proclivities of nature, and the nuances...
|New Compliance Requirements Affect Producers’ Eligibility for Federal Crop Insurance Subsidies|
Nicholas A. Reister, Rachael M. Roseman; Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, P.C.;
October 23, 2014, previously published on October 20, 2014In 2014, Congress passed the Agricultural Act of 2014 (the “Act”), more commonly known as the 'Farm Bill,' which included many significant changes. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, these new provisions are designed to provide “flexibility, accountability, and...
|Syngenta Faces Additional Lawsuits over MIR162 Corn|
Megan Ruth Galey; Husch Blackwell LLP;
October 23, 2014, previously published on October 14, 2014On October 3rd, corn growers in Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, and Nebraska filed multiple class action lawsuits against Syngenta related to MIR162, the Agrisure Viptera trait. The class actions come on the heels of similar lawsuits filed by Cargill and Trans Coastal Supply Company in...
|PCI, NAMIC Support State Farm Florida in Troublesome Hurricane Wilma Bad Faith Ruling|
Colodny Fass P.A.;
October 21, 2014, previously published on October 15, 2014The notion that an insurance company could still be liable for bad faith even after having complied with its own policy obligations is the driver behind insurer trade association support for State Farm Florida Insurance Company ("State Farm") in Cammarata v. State Farm Florida Insurance...
|Keep Your Hands Off the Customers ... and the Cows|
Jennifer B. Rubin; Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.;
October 21, 2014, previously published on October 17, 2014A federal district court in Washington has confirmed that an employer’s relationship with the cows that its employees serviced is insufficient to establish a legitimate protectable interest to enforce a non-compete.
|National Farm-to-School Month: New Toolkits and Videos from USDA Promoting Local Agriculture in our Public Schools|
October 14, 2014, previously published on October 9, 2014October is “National Farm-to-School Month” - a collaborative public-private effort to bring healthier, locally-grown foods into our public school systems. Farmers and educators are working with government agencies (federal and state), as well as nutritionists, health advocates and food...
|Coops among Recipients of USDA Rural Development Loans and Grants|
Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP;
September 30, 2014, previously published on September 25, 2014The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced $59 million in funding to support businesses and promote economic growth in rural communities. Coops are among the recipients through the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, which provides zero-interest loans to rural utilities...
|Death by Hay Bale|
Anne Davies; Withers Bergman LLP;
September 18, 2014, previously published on September 10, 2014HSE reports indicate at least 27 deaths related to baling and bale handling since 2000, including 18 caused by falling bales. Many more have been injured, but the total number is unknown. The baling season may soon be over but the need to be aware of the risks does not stop once the bales are...
|Court of Appeals Holds Owner Can be Held Liable for Negligence Because of Defective Front-End Loader|
Dirk H. Beckwith, Rachel N. Gizicki; Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith, P.C.;
September 1, 2014, previously published on August 21, 2014The Michigan Court of Appeals recently held that a plaintiff who fell from a front-end loader (also known as a pay loader or bucket loader) that was missing part of the ladder used to access the cabin, had a claim of ordinary negligence against the owner.