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Newsletter
Volume 162
April 1, 2017
Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Dismissed
The U.S. District Court of Northern Iowa, last Friday dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Water Works against a number of drainage district officials in counties northwest of Des Moines. At issue was whether the runoff from farms in the counties where the drainage districts operate was contributing to the need for the Water Works to spend large sums to remove nitrates from their drinking water intakes on the Raccoon River. The Water Works argued that the drainage districts should be required to have federal Clean Water Act discharge permits. The judge dismissed the case for lack of standing, explaining that the Water Works was not able to sue the drainage district officials. This decision comes on the heels of a related decision by the Iowa Supreme Court earlier in the year, which found that, under Iowa law, the Water Works was not able to collect any damages from the drainage districts associated with the nitrates in the Raccoon River.
Missouri Agriculture Loses a True Friend
Jim Russell
Jim shares a laugh with a dear friend during the 2015 MO-AG Convention.
We were saddened to hear that Jim Russell passed away on March 21, 2017. Jim was born in Savannah, Missouri and raised on a farm nearby. For almost 30 years, Jim was frequently seen in the hallways of the State Capitol, elected to the Missouri House in 1974. Jim earned the Meritorious Service Award from the St. Louis Globe Democrat and the Top Ten Legislators Award from the Capitol Press Corp, as an outstanding legislator during his four terms. After leaving the legislature, he became President of Missouri Agribusiness Association and held that position for 25 years. As President of Missouri Agribusiness, he blazed a wide path in Missouri's agricultural industry and had a long career of service and leadership. He was given the title of "Champion of Agriculture," and was very involved with numerous fundraising events for his alma mater and the mentoring of many young people. Jim brought smiles to many with his witty humor and generosity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim's family for their loss.
Reminder: Time to Post Your 300A
It's time to complete your 2016 injury and illness recordkeeping obligations by posting the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A). OSHA requires that the notice be displayed from February 1st to April 30th of each year in a conspicuous place where employee notices are customarily posted. Businesses with no injuries or illnesses for the year must still post the form. A company official must certify the information in Form 300A was examined and is believed to be correct and complete. Click here to access the form and instructions.
New OSHA Ag-30 Course - 2017 New Fall Courses Posted
Understanding OSHA's requirements will save your company money - but more importantly, it will reduce the number of injuries and it may even save lives. This highly successful training has been developed specifically for agribusiness and is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training. Sign up today to reserve the class of your choice. Click here for more information or to register.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,300 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 557 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
Several organizations are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 160 people have already participated in the training, with more than 91 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and two classes are offered per year. Reserve your seat in the upcoming September class now. Click here to register.
EPA Agrees to Reconsider Risk Management Plan Rule
EPA recently agreed to reconsider changes made by the agency in January 2017 to the risk management plan (RMP) program rule. The agency responded favorably to a petition supported by The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), requesting that EPA reconsider a number of provisions included in the rule changes, including the sharing of sensitive facility-specific security information with local emergency planners, the need for independent third-party audits following a facility incident, the obligation for facilities to conduct safer technology analysis, among other features. In responding favorably to the industry petition, the agency also agreed to administratively stay the rule, extending the compliance deadline from March 21st to June 19, 2017.
EPA Delays Implementation of its Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training Rule
In January, EPA published its final revisions to its rule for certification of pesticide applicators, which would set more strict national standards for applicator certification and training. In January, the Trump Administration ordered a 60-day freeze on the implementation of all yet-to-be-implemented rules, including the certification and training rule. Now EPA says it will further delay the effective date for the rule to May 22, 2017. EPA writes in the Federal Register that it is "taking this action to give recently arrived Agency officials the opportunity to learn more about the regulation and to decide whether they would like to conduct a substantive review of any of those regulations."
Worker Protection Standard Update
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a federal EPA regulation that primarily protects workers (people employed to perform work activities related to the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people employed to mix, load or apply pesticides). On November 2, 2015, EPA revised the WPS, making significant changes to the rule's requirements. To accomplish this, EPA added the new revisions to the end of the existing regulation. Implementation of the revised rules are staggered over 3 years: 2016, 2017 and 2018. Until 2017, the existing regulations (subparts A, B and C of 40 CFR Part 170) will remain in effect with no changes. Compliance with most of the revised rule requirements (subparts D, E, F and G of 40 CFR Part 170) was effective beginning January 2, 2017. Click here for a table that summarizes the key provisions in EPA's current WPS regulation and the 2015 revisions.
Asmark Institute WPS Plans: Training requiring the new additional elements and use of EPA-approved training materials is required January 2, 2018. EPA hasn't published the procedures for obtaining agency approval of the new training materials yet, but the Asmark Institute is working with officials to review our scripts in preparation for being approved. The Asmark Institute video team plans on having the new EPA-approved DVD training program this coming December, just in time for the new requirement. Until then, we recommend continuing to provide WPS training for new employees and those whose training is expiring.
EPA Denies Petition to Ban Chlorpyrifos
The Trump Administration has denied a petition by environmental groups that sought to ban chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide used on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops, reversing a push by the Obama administration to revoke all uses of the pesticide on food. In announcing the decision, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said that by not banning chlorpyrifos, he is providing "regulatory certainty" to thousands of American farms that rely on the pesticide. "By reversing the previous Administration's steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making - rather than predetermined results," Pruitt said.
DOT Halts 10-Year Cylinder Requalification Enforcement Regulation
The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has received formal notice from DOT that the agency will not take enforcement action against the requalification of DOT-specification cylinders by volumetric testing according to a 12-year period, as previously authorized in 49 CFR 180.209(e). DOT will allow either a 12- or 10-year requalification period for volumetric expansion testing while the agency reviews NPGA's Petition to return the cylinder requalification period to 12 years. A copy of the Enforcement Notification is available through the membership portal of the NPGA website. Members are encouraged to retain a copy of the notice.
NPGA argued for DOT to halt enforcement of the change in the requalification period and challenged the validity of the rulemaking that reduced the requalification period to 10 years. DOT formally accepted NPGA's Petition for Rulemaking to return the cylinder requalification period to 12 years, in conjunction with the Enforcement Notice, and in doing so, the agency's action initiates the rulemaking process; it is not a final rule. The next step in the rulemaking process is publication of the rulemaking in the Federal Register.
As part of a broader rulemaking, DOT changed 49 CFR 180.209(e) to reduce the initial requalification period for DOT cylinders following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years and to increase the timeframe for requalification following a proof pressure test from 7 years to 10 years. Nowhere, in either the proposed rule or final rule, did DOT provide any rationale or substantiation for the changes or address them in any form.
In response, NPGA aggressively pursued this issue with DOT and engaged the support of members of Congress as well as prepared legal measures in order to secure a correction to this substantive, yet unjustified change to industry practice. NPGA continues to communicate with DOT on final correction to return to the 12-year period through the rulemaking process. NPGA will continue to keep you apprised of developments.
DOT Will Not Reconsider "Behind-The-Wheel" Requirement for Entry Level Drivers
A Petition for Reconsideration of the "Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators" final rule was denied by DOT. The Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association had filed the petition, asking the agency to reconsider how behind-the-wheel (BTW) training is handled. The proposed rulemaking had included a minimum number of hours for BTW instruction. This provision was left out of the final rule and was the organizations' impetus behind the filing of the reconsideration petition. The four organizations have received letters from FMCSA stating the debate over minimum BTW training requirements had been settled prior during the rule's comment period and explained in the final rule's Preamble.
EPA Seeks Beta Testers for Pesticide Mobile Application for Pesticide Label Matching
Every pesticide must have labeling that is approved by EPA before it can be sold or distributed. A pesticide is misbranded under FIFRA if its labeling is false or misleading, which can lead to unsafe and ineffective use of the product. State governments generally have the authority to enforce these labeling requirements.
EPA is working on a mobile application that will dramatically save state government inspectors' time and increase efficiency, allowing for more labels to be inspected and improving compliance rates over time. As part of this effort, EPA is looking for state and federal officials to beta test the Pesticide Label Matcher (PLM) mobile application. EPA is particularly interested in federal and state officials who routinely go into the field and inspect pesticide products, as well as pesticide registrants.
The aim of the application is to modernize and streamline the current manual process for inspecting and reviewing pesticide labels for potential violations. With this application, inspectors can enter the EPA pesticide registration number on a mobile device and compare the label they are viewing with the approved federal master label and/or data contained in EPA's Pesticide Product Label System. This app will also include a web-based component for access via supported browsers on other devices such as laptops and desktops. Parties interested in participating in beta testing can contact Alan Boutureira (LMP@epa.gov).
National Labor Law Posters and Ammonia Signs Get Easier to Find
No matter where we put them - no one could find them, so Nick Lawrence found a solution. Now these two popular features are the first thing you see every time you visit the Products page. Can't miss them now! Thanks Nick!
Asmark Products
State Labor Law Poster Updates
Delaware
The listed categories of discrimination prohibited now include Disability; Membership in Volunteer Emergency Responder organization (Firefighters, Ambulance personnel, Ladies Auxiliary); Victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking; Family Care responsibilities; Reproductive Health decisions; and Retaliation for initiating a complaint of employment discrimination or opposing or participating in the investigation of a discriminatory employment practice. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Delaware posters will be available the week of March 27th. Click here to order.
Nebraska
The format of the Minimum Wage notice has changed, consolidating the different sections into one, and now includes a note about Occupational Classification as established by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles prepared by the US Department of Labor. Section 002 of the Unemployment Insurance notice has been split to differentiate between benefits beginning before and after October 1, 2015. After this date, additional details regarding special conditions have been added. Also, the entire Chapter 4 section was removed from the notice. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Nebraska posters will be available the week of April 3rd. Click here to order.
Tennessee
The requirement for keeping physical records of work searches has been removed, the web site link has been updated and the note on Partial Unemployment has been removed. Of minor note, the benefits, if not using Direct Deposit, will be awarded using a MasterCard instead of Visa. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Tennessee posters will be available the week of April 3rd. Click here to order.
Louisiana
The Earned Income thresholds have been slightly increased as noted below. $48,000 or less for the employer to notify new hires of the potential availability. Earned Income and adjust gross income must be less than:
  • $48,340 ($53,930 for married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children.
  • $44,007 ($50,597 for married filing jointly) with two qualifying children.
  • $39,617 ($45,207 for married filing jointly) with one qualifying child.
  • $15,010 ($20,600 for married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.
This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Louisiana posters will be available the week of April 3rd. Click here to order.
Tacoma, WA
The new minimum wage rate is $11.15 per hour. The notice is presented in English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Tacoma stand-alone posters are now available. Click here to order.
San Francisco, CA
The notice covers the Paid Parental Leave for Bonding with New Child Ordinance and phases in as noted below:
  • Employers with 50 or more employees are required to comply beginning on January 1, 2017.
  • Employers with 35 or more employees are required to comply beginning on July 1, 2017.
  • Employers with 20 or more employees are required to comply beginning on January 1, 2018.
The notice is posted in English, Spanish, and Chinese. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new San Francisco stand-alone posters are now available. Click here to order.
Santa Fe, NM
The new minimum wage rate is $11.09 per hour. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Santa Fe stand-alone posters are now available. Click here to order.
Linn County, IA
The notice was not available when we checked last month, but it is now. The minimum wage rate is $8.25 an hour, though employers may pay an initial employment rate of $6.35 for the first 90 calendar days of employment. Tipped employees who regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips must be at least $4.95 an hour. This applies to the unincorporated areas of Linn County and within any city or portion of any city within the geographic boundaries of Linn County that has not enacted a conflicting ordinance. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Linn County posters are now available. Click here to order.
State Poster Roundup/Catch-up
State changes 2017 and 2016
Date
Location
Change
1/4/2017
Massachusetts
Wage and Hour $11.00
1/5/2017
New York
Minimum Wage increase $11.00
1/6/2017
Alaska
Minimum Wage $9.80
1/11/2017
Colorado
Minimum Wage $9.30
1/13/2017
Mountain View, CA
Minimum Wage
1/19/2017
Federal Contractor
Pay Transparency
1/19/2017
Seattle, WA
Minimum Wage $15.00
1/20/2017
Ohio
Minimum Wage $8.15
1/26/2017
Cupertino, CA
Minimum Wage increase $12.00 hour stand-alone
1/1/2017
Vermont
Earned sick time
1/2/2017
Johnson City, IA
Minimum Wage $10.10
1/11/2017
Albuquerque, NM
Minimum Wage $8.80
1/11/2017
Missouri
Minimum Wage $7.70
1/18/2017
Florida
Minimum Wage $8.10
1/2/2017
San Jose, CA
Minimum Wage and Associated Rights
1/9/2017
Montana
Minimum Wage $8.15
1/14/2017
New Jersey
Minimum Wage $8.17
1/18/2017
California
Minimum Wage $10.50
1/22/2017
Maine
Minimum Wage $9.00
1/30/2017
Arizona
Minimum Wage $9.80
1/3/2017
Michigan
Minimum Wage $8.90
1/12/2017
Richmond, CA
Minimum Wage $12.30
1/13/2017
Santa Clara, CA
Minimum Wage $11.10
1/17/2017
San Diego, CA
Minimum Wage $11.50
1/24/2017
Palo Alto, CA
Minimum Wage $12.00
1/24/2017
Los Altos, CA
Minimum Wage $13.00
1/25/2017
Missouri
Minimum Wage $7.70
1/7/2017
Sunny Vale, CA
Minimum Wage $13.00
6/8/2016
Las Cruces, NM
Minimum Wage $9.20
6/8/2016
Idaho
Unemployment Insurance
1/21/2017
Rhode Island
Minimum Wage $3.89 tipped employee
6/28/2016
Wisconsin
Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave
6/29/2016
West Virginia
Human Rights Act
1/1/2017
Kentucky
OSHA
1/3/2017
Spokane, WA
Sick Leave
7/19/2016
Minnesota
Minimum Wage
7/20/2016
Georgia
Workers' Compensation - Bill of Rights
7/22/2016
Virginia
Safety and Health
7/25/2016
Utah
Workers' Compensation
8/1/2016
Federal
FLSA and Polygraph Protection Act
8/10/2016
Philadelphia, PA
Wage Theft
8/10/2016
Colorado
Pregnancy Accommodations
8/16/2016
North Carolina
OSHA
9/7/2016
New Jersey
Family Leave Act
Montgomery County,
9/28/2016
MD
Earned Sick Leave
10/3/2016
Maryland
Equal Pay for Equal Work
10/18/2016
Montana
Minimum Wage Effective Jan 1st
10/18/2016
Ohio
Minimum Wage Effective Jan 1st
11/11/2016
Oregon
OSHA
11/17/2016
Virginia
OSHA
11/17/2016
D.C.
Minimum Wage
11/21/2016
Pennsylvania
Unemployment Compensation
11/21/2016
Missouri
Minimum Wage
11/21/2016
Michigan
Minimum Wage
11/22/2016
Delaware
Discrimination
7/1/2016
Los Angeles, CA
Paid Sick Leave
1/3/2017
Spokane WA
Sick Leave
1/9/2017
Wyoming
OSHA
7/5/2016
Nevada
Wage and Hour Laws
7/19/2016
Minnesota
Minimum Wage
2017 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.
Des Moines Water Works Lawsuit Dismissed
The U.S. District Court of Northern Iowa, last Friday dismissed the lawsuit brought by the Des Moines Water Works against a number of drainage district officials in counties northwest of Des Moines. At issue was whether the runoff from farms in the counties where the drainage districts operate was contributing to the need for the Water Works to spend large sums to remove nitrates from their drinking water intakes on the Raccoon River. The Water Works argued that the drainage districts should be required to have federal Clean Water Act discharge permits. The judge dismissed the case for lack of standing, explaining that the Water Works was not able to sue the drainage district officials. This decision comes on the heels of a related decision by the Iowa Supreme Court earlier in the year, which found that, under Iowa law, the Water Works was not able to collect any damages from the drainage districts associated with the nitrates in the Raccoon River.
Missouri Agriculture Loses a True Friend
Jim Russell
Jim shares a laugh with a dear friend during the 2015 MO-AG Convention.
We were saddened to hear that Jim Russell passed away on March 21, 2017. Jim was born in Savannah, Missouri and raised on a farm nearby. For almost 30 years, Jim was frequently seen in the hallways of the State Capitol, elected to the Missouri House in 1974. Jim earned the Meritorious Service Award from the St. Louis Globe Democrat and the Top Ten Legislators Award from the Capitol Press Corp, as an outstanding legislator during his four terms. After leaving the legislature, he became President of Missouri Agribusiness Association and held that position for 25 years. As President of Missouri Agribusiness, he blazed a wide path in Missouri's agricultural industry and had a long career of service and leadership. He was given the title of "Champion of Agriculture," and was very involved with numerous fundraising events for his alma mater and the mentoring of many young people. Jim brought smiles to many with his witty humor and generosity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jim's family for their loss.
Reminder: Time to Post Your 300A
It's time to complete your 2016 injury and illness recordkeeping obligations by posting the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (OSHA Form 300A). OSHA requires that the notice be displayed from February 1st to April 30th of each year in a conspicuous place where employee notices are customarily posted. Businesses with no injuries or illnesses for the year must still post the form. A company official must certify the information in Form 300A was examined and is believed to be correct and complete. Click here to access the form and instructions.
New OSHA Ag-30 Course - 2017 New Fall Courses Posted
Understanding OSHA's requirements will save your company money - but more importantly, it will reduce the number of injuries and it may even save lives. This highly successful training has been developed specifically for agribusiness and is designed for facility managers or assistant managers, safety and health coordinators, EHS staff and personnel with responsibilities for safety and health at the facility. We encourage at least one person per facility receive this training. Sign up today to reserve the class of your choice. Click here for more information or to register.
It's Time to Register With ResponsibleAg
More than 2,300 facilities have registered with the ResponsibleAg Certification Program, with 557 facilities already receiving their certification. We encourage you to register your facilities today! For more information and to register, go to: www.responsibleag.org
Become a ResponsibleAg Auditor or Attend to Learn More....
Several organizations are signing up for the training to become contract auditors or to learn firsthand about ResponsibleAg - they want to see how it works - so they will be ready for their audit. More than 160 people have already participated in the training, with more than 91 choosing to become credentialed by ResponsibleAg. To become a ResponsibleAg auditor, the first step is to attend the training. Registration is open and two classes are offered per year. Reserve your seat in the upcoming September class now. Click here to register.
EPA Agrees to Reconsider Risk Management Plan Rule
EPA recently agreed to reconsider changes made by the agency in January 2017 to the risk management plan (RMP) program rule. The agency responded favorably to a petition supported by The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) and the Agricultural Retailers Association (ARA), requesting that EPA reconsider a number of provisions included in the rule changes, including the sharing of sensitive facility-specific security information with local emergency planners, the need for independent third-party audits following a facility incident, the obligation for facilities to conduct safer technology analysis, among other features. In responding favorably to the industry petition, the agency also agreed to administratively stay the rule, extending the compliance deadline from March 21st to June 19, 2017.
EPA Delays Implementation of its Pesticide Applicator Certification and Training Rule
In January, EPA published its final revisions to its rule for certification of pesticide applicators, which would set more strict national standards for applicator certification and training. In January, the Trump Administration ordered a 60-day freeze on the implementation of all yet-to-be-implemented rules, including the certification and training rule. Now EPA says it will further delay the effective date for the rule to May 22, 2017. EPA writes in the Federal Register that it is "taking this action to give recently arrived Agency officials the opportunity to learn more about the regulation and to decide whether they would like to conduct a substantive review of any of those regulations."
Worker Protection Standard Update
The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a federal EPA regulation that primarily protects workers (people employed to perform work activities related to the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people employed to mix, load or apply pesticides). On November 2, 2015, EPA revised the WPS, making significant changes to the rule's requirements. To accomplish this, EPA added the new revisions to the end of the existing regulation. Implementation of the revised rules are staggered over 3 years: 2016, 2017 and 2018. Until 2017, the existing regulations (subparts A, B and C of 40 CFR Part 170) will remain in effect with no changes. Compliance with most of the revised rule requirements (subparts D, E, F and G of 40 CFR Part 170) was effective beginning January 2, 2017. Click here for a table that summarizes the key provisions in EPA's current WPS regulation and the 2015 revisions.
Asmark Institute WPS Plans: Training requiring the new additional elements and use of EPA-approved training materials is required January 2, 2018. EPA hasn't published the procedures for obtaining agency approval of the new training materials yet, but the Asmark Institute is working with officials to review our scripts in preparation for being approved. The Asmark Institute video team plans on having the new EPA-approved DVD training program this coming December, just in time for the new requirement. Until then, we recommend continuing to provide WPS training for new employees and those whose training is expiring.
EPA Denies Petition to Ban Chlorpyrifos
The Trump Administration has denied a petition by environmental groups that sought to ban chlorpyrifos, a common pesticide used on citrus fruits, apples, cherries and other crops, reversing a push by the Obama administration to revoke all uses of the pesticide on food. In announcing the decision, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said that by not banning chlorpyrifos, he is providing "regulatory certainty" to thousands of American farms that rely on the pesticide. "By reversing the previous Administration's steps to ban one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, we are returning to using sound science in decision-making - rather than predetermined results," Pruitt said.
DOT Halts 10-Year Cylinder Requalification Enforcement Regulation
The National Propane Gas Association (NPGA) has received formal notice from DOT that the agency will not take enforcement action against the requalification of DOT-specification cylinders by volumetric testing according to a 12-year period, as previously authorized in 49 CFR 180.209(e). DOT will allow either a 12- or 10-year requalification period for volumetric expansion testing while the agency reviews NPGA's Petition to return the cylinder requalification period to 12 years. A copy of the Enforcement Notification is available through the membership portal of the NPGA website. Members are encouraged to retain a copy of the notice.
NPGA argued for DOT to halt enforcement of the change in the requalification period and challenged the validity of the rulemaking that reduced the requalification period to 10 years. DOT formally accepted NPGA's Petition for Rulemaking to return the cylinder requalification period to 12 years, in conjunction with the Enforcement Notice, and in doing so, the agency's action initiates the rulemaking process; it is not a final rule. The next step in the rulemaking process is publication of the rulemaking in the Federal Register.
As part of a broader rulemaking, DOT changed 49 CFR 180.209(e) to reduce the initial requalification period for DOT cylinders following volumetric expansion testing from 12 years to 10 years and to increase the timeframe for requalification following a proof pressure test from 7 years to 10 years. Nowhere, in either the proposed rule or final rule, did DOT provide any rationale or substantiation for the changes or address them in any form.
In response, NPGA aggressively pursued this issue with DOT and engaged the support of members of Congress as well as prepared legal measures in order to secure a correction to this substantive, yet unjustified change to industry practice. NPGA continues to communicate with DOT on final correction to return to the 12-year period through the rulemaking process. NPGA will continue to keep you apprised of developments.
DOT Will Not Reconsider "Behind-The-Wheel" Requirement for Entry Level Drivers
A Petition for Reconsideration of the "Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators" final rule was denied by DOT. The Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association had filed the petition, asking the agency to reconsider how behind-the-wheel (BTW) training is handled. The proposed rulemaking had included a minimum number of hours for BTW instruction. This provision was left out of the final rule and was the organizations' impetus behind the filing of the reconsideration petition. The four organizations have received letters from FMCSA stating the debate over minimum BTW training requirements had been settled prior during the rule's comment period and explained in the final rule's Preamble.
EPA Seeks Beta Testers for Pesticide Mobile Application for Pesticide Label Matching
Every pesticide must have labeling that is approved by EPA before it can be sold or distributed. A pesticide is misbranded under FIFRA if its labeling is false or misleading, which can lead to unsafe and ineffective use of the product. State governments generally have the authority to enforce these labeling requirements.
EPA is working on a mobile application that will dramatically save state government inspectors' time and increase efficiency, allowing for more labels to be inspected and improving compliance rates over time. As part of this effort, EPA is looking for state and federal officials to beta test the Pesticide Label Matcher (PLM) mobile application. EPA is particularly interested in federal and state officials who routinely go into the field and inspect pesticide products, as well as pesticide registrants.
The aim of the application is to modernize and streamline the current manual process for inspecting and reviewing pesticide labels for potential violations. With this application, inspectors can enter the EPA pesticide registration number on a mobile device and compare the label they are viewing with the approved federal master label and/or data contained in EPA's Pesticide Product Label System. This app will also include a web-based component for access via supported browsers on other devices such as laptops and desktops. Parties interested in participating in beta testing can contact Alan Boutureira (LMP@epa.gov).
National Labor Law Posters and Ammonia Signs Get Easier to Find
No matter where we put them - no one could find them, so Nick Lawrence found a solution. Now these two popular features are the first thing you see every time you visit the Products page. Can't miss them now! Thanks Nick!
Asmark Products
State Labor Law Poster Updates
Delaware
The listed categories of discrimination prohibited now include Disability; Membership in Volunteer Emergency Responder organization (Firefighters, Ambulance personnel, Ladies Auxiliary); Victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking; Family Care responsibilities; Reproductive Health decisions; and Retaliation for initiating a complaint of employment discrimination or opposing or participating in the investigation of a discriminatory employment practice. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Delaware posters will be available the week of March 27th. Click here to order.
Nebraska
The format of the Minimum Wage notice has changed, consolidating the different sections into one, and now includes a note about Occupational Classification as established by the Dictionary of Occupational Titles prepared by the US Department of Labor. Section 002 of the Unemployment Insurance notice has been split to differentiate between benefits beginning before and after October 1, 2015. After this date, additional details regarding special conditions have been added. Also, the entire Chapter 4 section was removed from the notice. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Nebraska posters will be available the week of April 3rd. Click here to order.
Tennessee
The requirement for keeping physical records of work searches has been removed, the web site link has been updated and the note on Partial Unemployment has been removed. Of minor note, the benefits, if not using Direct Deposit, will be awarded using a MasterCard instead of Visa. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Tennessee posters will be available the week of April 3rd. Click here to order.
Louisiana
The Earned Income thresholds have been slightly increased as noted below. $48,000 or less for the employer to notify new hires of the potential availability. Earned Income and adjust gross income must be less than:
  • $48,340 ($53,930 for married filing jointly) with three or more qualifying children.
  • $44,007 ($50,597 for married filing jointly) with two qualifying children.
  • $39,617 ($45,207 for married filing jointly) with one qualifying child.
  • $15,010 ($20,600 for married filing jointly) with no qualifying children.
This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Louisiana posters will be available the week of April 3rd. Click here to order.
Tacoma, WA
The new minimum wage rate is $11.15 per hour. The notice is presented in English, Spanish, Korean, Russian, Cambodian, and Vietnamese. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Tacoma stand-alone posters are now available. Click here to order.
San Francisco, CA
The notice covers the Paid Parental Leave for Bonding with New Child Ordinance and phases in as noted below:
  • Employers with 50 or more employees are required to comply beginning on January 1, 2017.
  • Employers with 35 or more employees are required to comply beginning on July 1, 2017.
  • Employers with 20 or more employees are required to comply beginning on January 1, 2018.
The notice is posted in English, Spanish, and Chinese. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new San Francisco stand-alone posters are now available. Click here to order.
Santa Fe, NM
The new minimum wage rate is $11.09 per hour. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Santa Fe stand-alone posters are now available. Click here to order.
Linn County, IA
The notice was not available when we checked last month, but it is now. The minimum wage rate is $8.25 an hour, though employers may pay an initial employment rate of $6.35 for the first 90 calendar days of employment. Tipped employees who regularly receive more than $30 a month in tips must be at least $4.95 an hour. This applies to the unincorporated areas of Linn County and within any city or portion of any city within the geographic boundaries of Linn County that has not enacted a conflicting ordinance. This is a material substantive change and a new poster is required. The new Linn County posters are now available. Click here to order.
State Poster Roundup/Catch-up
State changes 2017 and 2016
Date
Location
Change
1/4/2017
Massachusetts
Wage and Hour $11.00
1/5/2017
New York
Minimum Wage increase $11.00
1/6/2017
Alaska
Minimum Wage $9.80
1/11/2017
Colorado
Minimum Wage $9.30
1/13/2017
Mountain View, CA
Minimum Wage
1/19/2017
Federal Contractor
Pay Transparency
1/19/2017
Seattle, WA
Minimum Wage $15.00
1/20/2017
Ohio
Minimum Wage $8.15
1/26/2017
Cupertino, CA
Minimum Wage increase $12.00 hour stand-alone
1/1/2017
Vermont
Earned sick time
1/2/2017
Johnson City, IA
Minimum Wage $10.10
1/11/2017
Albuquerque, NM
Minimum Wage $8.80
1/11/2017
Missouri
Minimum Wage $7.70
1/18/2017
Florida
Minimum Wage $8.10
1/2/2017
San Jose, CA
Minimum Wage and Associated Rights
1/9/2017
Montana
Minimum Wage $8.15
1/14/2017
New Jersey
Minimum Wage $8.17
1/18/2017
California
Minimum Wage $10.50
1/22/2017
Maine
Minimum Wage $9.00
1/30/2017
Arizona
Minimum Wage $9.80
1/3/2017
Michigan
Minimum Wage $8.90
1/12/2017
Richmond, CA
Minimum Wage $12.30
1/13/2017
Santa Clara, CA
Minimum Wage $11.10
1/17/2017
San Diego, CA
Minimum Wage $11.50
1/24/2017
Palo Alto, CA
Minimum Wage $12.00
1/24/2017
Los Altos, CA
Minimum Wage $13.00
1/25/2017
Missouri
Minimum Wage $7.70
1/7/2017
Sunny Vale, CA
Minimum Wage $13.00
6/8/2016
Las Cruces, NM
Minimum Wage $9.20
6/8/2016
Idaho
Unemployment Insurance
1/21/2017
Rhode Island
Minimum Wage $3.89 tipped employee
6/28/2016
Wisconsin
Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Leave
6/29/2016
West Virginia
Human Rights Act
1/1/2017
Kentucky
OSHA
1/3/2017
Spokane, WA
Sick Leave
7/19/2016
Minnesota
Minimum Wage
7/20/2016
Georgia
Workers' Compensation - Bill of Rights
7/22/2016
Virginia
Safety and Health
7/25/2016
Utah
Workers' Compensation
8/1/2016
Federal
FLSA and Polygraph Protection Act
8/10/2016
Philadelphia, PA
Wage Theft
8/10/2016
Colorado
Pregnancy Accommodations
8/16/2016
North Carolina
OSHA
9/7/2016
New Jersey
Family Leave Act
Montgomery County,
9/28/2016
MD
Earned Sick Leave
10/3/2016
Maryland
Equal Pay for Equal Work
10/18/2016
Montana
Minimum Wage Effective Jan 1st
10/18/2016
Ohio
Minimum Wage Effective Jan 1st
11/11/2016
Oregon
OSHA
11/17/2016
Virginia
OSHA
11/17/2016
D.C.
Minimum Wage
11/21/2016
Pennsylvania
Unemployment Compensation
11/21/2016
Missouri
Minimum Wage
11/21/2016
Michigan
Minimum Wage
11/22/2016
Delaware
Discrimination
7/1/2016
Los Angeles, CA
Paid Sick Leave
1/3/2017
Spokane WA
Sick Leave
1/9/2017
Wyoming
OSHA
7/5/2016
Nevada
Wage and Hour Laws
7/19/2016
Minnesota
Minimum Wage
2017 Asmark Institute, Inc. This information is believed to be reliable by the Asmark Institute, however, because of constantly changing government regulations, interpretations and applicability or the possibility of human, mechanical or computer error, the Asmark Institute does not guarantee the information as suitable for any particular purpose.