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

    Go To Washington Agenda >

    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.


    "Labor Unrest: The View from Oregon"
    Tim Bernasek, Dunn Carney

    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.

      Q&A on Motivation, Labor Unrest, and Related H-2A Issues
    Jeff McLean, wafla Field Services; Tim Bernasek, Dunn Carney; Ryan Ogburn, wafla Visa Director

    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. Growers in Washington State have been barraged with class-actions over a piece-rate court ruling and now a looming agriculture overtime exemption ruling could expose them to back wage class actions. Oregon may be next. 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.

    Mediation / Arbitration Q&A
    Gregg Bertram, Pacific ADR; Ryan Ogburn, wafla Visa Director

    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
    1:30-2:30p *choose from the following

    When Unfortunate Events Happen to Guestworkers
    Moderator: Dan Fazio, wafla Executive Director; Panelists: Leon Sequeira, LRS Law; Tim Bernasek, Attorney at Dunn Carney; Ryan Ogburn, wafla Visa Director

    This year, a grower in Washington encountered a terrible on-the-job accident, resulting in 11 severe injuries and 1 worker fatality. Other growers encountered health-related and accidental off-the-job foreign worker fatalities. Although these situations were no fault of the grower, they presented difficult challenges that may become more common. At this session, we’ll cover your legal obligations, practical considerations, and procedural best practices. 

    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
    2:30-3:30p *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.

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

    Every year the feds impose an arbitrary AEWR. How is it established? Is there anything growers can do about it? Leon Sequeira, a former Assistant Secretary of Labor in the Bush Administration, explains possible responses by the industry.

      Go To Washington Agenda >



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