August 15, 2007

No-Match Letter Rule Looms

Starting in the middle of September, growers will need to be extra vigilant in making sure they are in compliance with the Social Security No Match rule, which will be published in the Federal Register any day now and take effect 30 days later. Employers who receive notice from the Social Security Administration that an employee’s name and social security number do not match must resolve the discrepancy within 90 days or fire the employee. If the employee in question is not terminated, the employer will risk liability for violating the law by knowingly employing an unauthorized person (illegal worker). In addition to the new rule, the Bush Administration is releasing a package of immigration reforms to address border security, temporary worker programs and visa issues, according to the Society of American Florists. Civil fines are expected to increase 25 percent. In addition to investigating employers, the Bush Administration plans […]

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July 11, 2007

Immigration Compliance Update

Although Congress may have failed to implement immigration reform, the Society of American Florists expects increased worksite law enforcement and for employers who fail to adhere to employment verfication procedures to face stiffer civil and criminal penalties. Make sure your are current on compliance by visiting:

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July 5, 2007

Immigration Reform Post Mortem

After more than a year of contentious debate, the comprehensive immigration reform bill championed by many in the Senate along with the Bush administration is officially dead. Last Thursday, the Senate failed to invoke cloture, or end debate, by a vote of 46-53. What will status quo or doing nothing mean for growers? American Nursery & Landscape Association’s Craig Regelbrugge says tighter borders, labor shortages and more state and local laws that target employers. We may also see enforcement-only legislation resurface and a mandatory electronic verification system that places the burden of making sure workers are legal on employers. ANLA will explore future support for guestworker programs and AgJOBS. For more insight, visit:

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May 23, 2007

Reach Senators On Immigration Reform

Now is the time for growers’ voices to be heard on immigration reform. The U.S. Senate is taking up debate and action with the hopes of fixing a broken system. Our industry’s advocates in Washington, D.C., are urging growers and allied industry members to contact their senators by phone as soon as possible. For details, go to:

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May 16, 2007

Immigration Reform Heats Up

Today is lobby day on Capitol Hill for the Agriculture Coalition for Immigration Reform and the national Council of Agricultural Employers. Both American Nursery & Landscape Association and the Society of American Florists (SAF) are taking a leading role in this effort and mobilizing members to participate. SAF lobbyists Jeanne Ramsay and Lin Schmale were just featured in Monday’s edition of The Politico on this issue. For the story, visit:

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May 2, 2007

New Course On Latino Workforce

Starting this fall, Dr. Claudio Pasian will be teaching students a course on supervising Latino Workers. He will examine current issues faced by immigrant workers in agriculture. Cultural, historical and legal issues affecting workplace relations will be discussed. For more information about Pasian and this course, visit:

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April 11, 2007

More Bilingual Resources

In response to last week’s news item, two more suppliers shared they have or are working on bilingual resources for growers. The Messick Company, a horticultural broker in Campbell, Calif., has been supplying cultural sheets in Spanish for two years. Plant Products Co. Ltd. is working on translating part of its Plantex fertilizer technical guide into Spanish and it will be ready in a few months. Although one reader told us it’s wrong to provide the information in two languages and that immigrants need to learn English, our aim is to help as many growing operations as we can be successful with their production.

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April 4, 2007

How Lean Are You?

Hot off the presses in our April issue is an article by Assistant Editor Ann-Marie Conroy that explains the pinciples behind lean manufacturing and how growers are incorporating them into their operations. The goal is to eliminate unnecessary waste from the production cycle that is broken into eight categories. Discover what these are and more by visiting

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