August 2016

August 2016


New Department of Labor Rule Means Big Changes for Overtime Requirements

Beginning December 1, 2016, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) will begin enforcing a new rule that will radically change overtime pay requirements throughout the country. The Final Rule, 81 FR 32391, officially called “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees,” is projected to make around 4.2 million salaried workers suddenly eligible for premium overtime pay.

The Rule will substantially change the way employers and their payroll professionals must track workers’ number of hours and pay. It will likely lead to increased baseline salaries for a number of lower-level white collar workers. It will also result in mandated 40-hour work weeks for a number of others. While this new Rule has big implications for many U.S. employers, it does not greatly impact most agricultural employees. That is because most farm employers are exempt from overtime pay requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The new Rule does not change these exemptions.

This fact sheet provides a general overview of this new Rule, as well as its impact on the agricultural industry. Employers and their payroll professionals are advised to consult with legal counsel if they are unsure about how this Rule impacts them.

To continue reading, click here.


Rural Premises Liability in Iowa: A Legal Review

This month, we present the third in a series of legal reviews intended to provide an overview of an area of law important to agriculture in Iowa. In June, we published Iowa Farm Leases: A Legal Review, in July Iowa Fence Requirements: A Legal Review, and this month, Rural Premises Liability in Iowa: A Legal Review. Please contact us with additional topics you'd like to see covered in future newsletter editions. Your feedback is very important to us!

Owning property is richly rewarding. It can also be fraught with liability. This fact sheet provides a general overview of several key legal issues that owners and occupiers of rural property in Iowa should understand. It is not a comprehensive review of liability risks or the steps landlords or tenants can take to reduce them. Rather, it is designed to educate landlords, tenants, and those who advise them regarding the main forms of tort liability associated with possessing rural property in Iowa. Landowners and tenants are encouraged to consult with legal counsel and insurance experts for additional information and advice on how to mitigate specific liability risks.

Any discussion of premises liability should start with a general principle. Every one of us, whether we own property or not, possesses a duty to exercise reasonable care when our conduct creates a risk of physical harm. Bottom line, tort law requires that we take responsibility for our own actions and the hazards we create. If we don’t, we can be sued and ordered by a court to pay damages to those we have harmed. Although there are a number of different torts or civil causes of action for which plaintiffs may seek damages, far and away the most common is negligence. It is the cause of action most frequently leading to premises liability.

To continue reading, click here.


New Small UAS Rule Is In Effect

During the past several years it often seemed like the day would never come. But Monday, August 29, the new FAA rule for integrating small unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the U.S. airspace went into effect. The rule applies to all UAS weighing less than 55 pounds (sUAS) that are flown for commercial (not hobby) purposes. Any farming use falls into the commercial-use category. Operators can continue to fly a sUAS for fun without permission from the FAA. All sUAS operators, however, must register their aircraft with FAA through a straightforward, online registration process. Registrants must be 13 years of age or older. The operator must label the aircraft with the official registration number generated during the registration process.

As we told you in June when the sUAS rule was issued, 14 CFR part 107 (Part 107) opens the skies for many new sUAS to fly commercially without lengthy or burdensome procedural barriers.

Operators must have a remote pilot certificate with a small UAS rating. But the requirements to obtain the certificate are straightforward.

Read the full blogpost here.

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CALT does not provide legal advice. Any information provided on this website is not intended to be a substitute for legal services from a competent professional. CALT's work is supported by fee-based seminars and generous private gifts. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the material contained on this website do not necessarily reflect the views of Iowa State University.

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