Oregon COVID-19 Letters for Dairy Employees and New Federal Employment Laws

ODFA

ODFA COVID-19 RESOURCES

ODFA has a new page on our website with current information to help you navigate COVID-19. We will continue to provide updates to assist you in making informed decisions for your family businesses.

 

 

Letters for Dairy Employees Traveling to Work
We have received questions about how to ensure that dairy workers can travel to and from work if limitations are imposed during the coronavirus outbreak.

We recommend providing each of your workers with a letter explaining that the worker is an “essential critical infrastructure worker” because the employee workers in the production of food.

A template of an English/Spanish letter can be found on our website, along with an explanation document. It should be customized by adding your farm letterhead and other pertinent information. A docx file of the letter can be found below. Please download it, open it, and customize it for your use. An explanation document for employees can be found below.

 

For more information on essential critical infrastructure workers, see this memo from Homeland Security.

Also, with the US/Mexican border being partially shut down and issues regarding the processing of H-2A visa, we all have many questions about the agricultural labor supply. Please know that there are efforts by agricultural organizations to draw attention to the need for and encourage Congress to ensure a sufficient ag workforce.

New Federal Employment Law Changes
On March 18, 2020, Congress passed and the President signed into law HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, a broad-ranging response to the COVID-19 outbreak. HR 6201 temporarily expands the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide paid leave for employees unable to work due to closure of schools and child-care facilities and temporary paid sick leave for COVID-19-related absences. HR 6201 will become effective April 2, 2020. You can find the federal act here.

These changes will impact your employment practices. All employers should re-evaluate their leave policies and prepare to implement these new requirements. For more information, see the legal analyses below.

Resources for Dairy Farmers
Dairy farms are 24-hour, 7-day per week business and operations must continue. Following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) precautions will minimize the risk to dairy farmers, family, employees and essential professional and service providers to be on the farm.

The CDC provides clear guidance about preventing infection in both English and Spanish. It also provides a number of printable factsheets and posters in English and Spanish suitable for use in the workplace.

More resources for dairy producers are available online. Please review and use as appropriate.

Frequently Asked Questions from NMPF:
Visit ODFA’s new web resource for more information about COVID-19.

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