On January 6, 2021, we blogged about two California farms’ challenges to California’s regulation requiring agricultural producers to grant unions access to their property to recruit workers.  The regulation required access for three hours a day – one hour before work started, one hour at lunch and one hour after work – for a maximum of 120 days per year.  The Ninth Circuit held that this regulation did not constitute a per se taking for purposes of the Fifth Amendment because it did not require access on a 24/7 basis.
Continue Reading Update on Union Access to Property

Despite the best of intentions to comply with the myriad of laws, orders and recommendations and to “do right” by employees while dealing with the current pandemic and recession, employers remain vulnerable to a whole host of potential COVID-19-related claims. Husch Blackwell’s Labor & Employment team is closely following the ever-changing guidance and return-to-work orders

Over the last several days, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its recommendations for food manufacturers and food retailers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  While FDA continues to underscore that there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19, FDA as updated its recommendations based upon updated guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Continue Reading FDA Updates Recommendations on Social Distancing and Use of PPE for Food Companies

On May 16, 2018 and June 13, 2018, we blogged about Gerawan Farms, a California agricultural company whose members wanted to decertify the United Farm Workers. The employees voted in 2013 but the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) impounded the ballots and refused to count them. The ALRB held that Gerawan had committed

On May 16, 2018, we blogged about California’s compulsory arbitration requirements for unionized agricultural workers, the California Supreme Court’s rejection of constitutional challenges to that statute, and the petition for certiorari filed by the employer, Gerawan Farms. A majority of Gerawan’s employees signed a petition seeking an election on whether to decertify the union.  The

 I.       Introduction. 

Unlike federal labor law, the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA or Act) authorizes agricultural workers to form unions and engage in collective bargaining.  If the parties cannot reach agreement on the terms of the contract, the Act requires mediation.  If mediation is unsuccessful, the ALRA requires the mediator to dictate the terms

The Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) provides broad protection to whistleblowers. Section 402 of the statute applies to any person or entity engaged in manufacturing, processing, packing, transporting, distribution, reception, holding or importation of food, but it is not clear whether the provision applies to farms, at least until the food has been harvested.


On January 6, 2015, Husch Blackwell obtained summary judgment for ConAgra Foods, ending a two-year collective action filed by supervisor employees alleging they had been misclassified as exempt under federal and state wage and hour laws. The case is Evelyn Garrison, et al. v. ConAgra Foods Packaged Foods, LLC, No. 4:12-cv-00737-SWW. With this result,