The Christmas season is upon us – with a New Year not far behind! As you take time to safely celebrate the holidays there are a few things we need to remember before the new year starts……

The minimum wage will change for the State of Florida this coming January 1st! Florida’s minimum wage will go to $6.67 an hour on January 1, 2007, a 27 cent an hour increase to match inflation as required by an initiative passed by the legislature. Please remember to check that your payroll programs are correctly calculating the new minimum wage and that you have changed your Worker Information – Terms and Conditions of Employment forms (WH-516) to show the new minimum wage of $6.67. The Agency for Workforce Innovation has created a new poster that must be displayed after January 1st informing the workers of the new Florida minimum wage. Please also remember that the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) poster with the $5.15 minimum wage STILL needs to be posted – and the rate not altered! This is a Federal rule – even though Florida’s minimum wage is higher than the Federal law the FLSA poster must still be displayed. This is also a good time to review your “broken-arm” posters to make sure your dates of coverage on the labels are still valid. Please call CHAPP with any poster questions or needs you have!

The U.S. Department of Labor will take over FLC (crew leader) registration February 1, 2007. At the time of this printing, they still have not determined where the new FLC applications must be submitted. The Migrant & Seasonal Protection Act requires that you file the application for registration timely. The MSPA further defines that as 30 days prior to expiration – so it must be in their hands 30 days before your current license expires. Until we are notified of the new procedures it is very important that you continue to submit your applications timely to the Tallahassee office – either by FedEx/UPS/DHL or U.S. Postal Service via Certified Mail with a Return Receipt . Please remember that this change was NOT decided by the people in Tallahassee – it came from the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington – so do not take out your frustrations on the staff in Tallahassee as it’s not their fault! Please remember that any changes you need to your registrations (FLC cards) after February 1st will have to go through the new (yet un-addressed) Atlanta registration office – and we have no idea how long that will take! Add to that having to then go to Tallahassee for your state license changes and the days of your crew cards coming back in a few days will now take a few weeks! We will send out new information as we get it – please call our office with any questions! (See 29 CFR 500.50)

This season there are new stickers required for Farm Labor vehicles that transport agricultural workers. Transportation vehicles must have the new sticker on the left rear bumper or body by January 31, 2007. The stickers are issued for specific vehicles so if you have more than one van or bus make sure the sticker matches the vehicle you put it on. We have also been informed that if you lose it or it gets stolen you must ask for a replacement by writing a note explaining the circumstances of why you need a replacement sticker and for which specific vehicle. We recommend you make a copy of the sticker before you apply it to the vehicle and then keep that copy with your tag registration.

We are very thankful for the opportunity to serve you and the ag industry. All of us here at CHAPP wish everyone a safe and blessed Christmas and Holiday Season. This Christmas season and into the new year may you and yours rest in the deep assurance that in knowing Him you have everything!

We would appreciate any ideas for topics, comments on our information, and any questions you may have! Please call us at (800)242-7898 or e-mail us at wwurth@chappinc.com . Remember: The chance taker is the accident maker!