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Community for the Long Haul –
Fostering an Enduring Network of Seasonal Employers

Times are tough for Ag employers, and while your unique challenges seem isolating, you need to know that you’re not alone. We want to help surround you with information, resources, and connections that help you to cultivate a reliable workforce.

    Agenda Overview
    Lake Oswego, Oregon | January 16
    *subject to change

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    General Session 1

    Management That Motivates
    Jeff McLean, wafla Field Services

    Whether you hire employees who make minimum wage or six figure salaries, your business will succeed when workers see business success as their own personal success. Learn how the working environment your supervisors create is determining the return on your greatest investment – your workforce.


    Workforce Motivation Questions & Answers
    Jeff McLean


    "Labor Unrest: The View from South of the River"
    Tim Bernasek

    In recent years, there have been fewer cases of labor strife in Oregon as compared to Washington. Is this because employers are more diligent, H-2A use is lower, folks are just luckier than their neighbors to the north, or all three?Unfortunately, our run of good fortune may have run out. Tim Bernasek, a prominent Oregon Ag labor attorney, reviews recent actions by farm labor activists and attorneys, with an eye towards prevention.

    Mediation/Arbitration: No Time to Wait
    Gregg Bertram, Pacific ADR

    In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that employers can establish policies that force arbitration when disputes arise, avoiding costly lawsuits. This is a rare win for employers – and everyone needs to take advantage. Recent court rulings caused a spike in class-action lawsuits against employers who use piece rate, and now the Washington State Supreme Court may end the overtime exemption for all agricultural workers in Washington. If that happens – and for a dozen other reasons – you should implement a mediation/arbitration policy. Learn from an expert with 30+ years’ experience how to properly protect your operation.
    Lunch Presentation

    H-2A: The (so-called) Farmworker Modernization Act, Proposed Rules by DOL, and How They Impact You
    Leon Sequeira, Attorney

    Get the latest on H-2A legislation from D.C., proposed DOL H-2A rules, and get insights on how all H-2A employers need to prepare for 2020 and beyond.
    Breakout Session I *see offerings below
    Breakout Session II  *see offerings below
    General Session 2 Community for the Long Haul
    Dan Fazio, wafla Executive Director

    Breakout Session I
    *choose from the following

    The AEWR and Prevailing Wage: What the #&%@!?
    Leon Sequeira, Attorney

    Every year the feds impose an arbitrary AEWR and the state piles on with a prevailing wage survey. Where do these surveys come from? Should you respond to them? Can we do our own survey? Leon Sequeira, a former Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Bush Administration, explains survey mechanics and possible responses by the industry.

    Discipline Tools: Equipping Your Supervisors for Success
    Luis Guitron, wafla Field Services and Housing Manager; Jeff McLean, wafla Field Services

    Seasonal employers have become increasingly nervous about using progressive discipline in recent years, but without this basic management tool, you can’t build a productive workforce. Join us to learn the positive power of discipline when it’s administered properly and discover how strategic supervisor training will enable you to correctly and effectively use discipline to develop a motivated workforce.

    Breakout Session II
    *choose from the following

    Discipline Tools: The Positive Power of Evaluation Systems
    Jeff McLean, wafla Field Services

    Contrary to popular opinion, it is not illegal to measure worker productivity – you just need to do it correctly. Beyond their corrective function, performance evaluations communicate a lot about your expectations and goals for your operation. Learn how effective implementation of performance standards empowers supervisors and increases ownership that employees take in their work.

    Alternative Visa Options for Ag Employers
    Ryan Ogburn, wafla Visa Program Manager

    Don't qualify for H-2A? Need workers for year round jobs? Or just want to expand your knowledge?  There are other employment based visa options. Learn about the EB-3, J-1, and TN Visas from wafla’s Visa Director, Ryan Ogburn.

      Go To Washington Agenda >



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