Lake Erie Regional Grape Program Enrollment

Program Areas

  • Pest Management
  • Vineyard Nutrition
  • Crop Management
  • Market Development
  • Farm Business

Enrollment Benefits

  • Vineyard Consultations
  • Vineyard Notes Newsletter
  • Crop Update Weekly Electronic Newsletter
  • Educational Meetings & Conferences
  • Discounted Conference Registration Fees

Enrollee Login


Log In To Access:

  • Issues of Vineyard Notes
  • Issues of Crop Update

Not an Enrollee?
Enroll Now!

PA Growers Visit PA Extension or call 814.825.0900 for a subscription form

Online Enrollment Form

FALL   •   WINTER   •   SPRING   •   SUMMER          New Vineyard Timeline
Grape - Fall Content


Wage Theft Prevention Act

Kevin Martin, Extension Educator, Business Management
Lake Erie Regional Grape Program

March 13, 2013

New York State recently passed the Wage Theft Prevention Act. This law is similar to new requirements in Massachusetts, and Illinois. In the past record keeping requirements were similar to Pennsylvania. Employers have to document standard payroll data such as hourly rate, hours worked, and ensure piece rate employees were making at least minimum wage. These requirements are in addition to the new hire notices that went into effect on October 26, 2009. This law takes effect in April 2010.

Simply handing cash or even checks to someone may seem adequate. However, failure to follow the letter of the law may lead to liability for the legal definition of wage theft. Inadequate record keeping may leave your business vulnerable to fraudulent claims of wage theft.

Allegations of wage theft for grape farmers often arise because of the culture surrounding hand pruning. A bilingual worker with legal status manages the crew and may take payments directly for contractual work completed. This �crew-leader� may then make payments to other pruners. While this is common practice in other industries, it is specifically banned in agriculture by federal law. Crew leaders must be registered and there are essentially no registered crew leaders. This puts the responsibility on the grower to pay employees directly without an intermediary. Many growers continue to allow a leader to manage the group but generally pay employees directly. Without allowing a pseudo-leader it can be challenging to find labor. By allowing such a leader, but still paying employees directly, it can be challenging to comply with all labor law requirements because of the lack of communication and contact you have with your employees.

The Wage Theft Prevention Act increases record keeping requirements. Employers must provide the following information in the Employee�s primary language:
  • Rate of pay
  • Allowances such as meals or lodging
  • Regular pay day
  • Name of Employer
  • Any â��doing business asâ�� names
  • Physical address of Employerâ��s office
  • Telephone number
With each wage payment Employers must provide:
  • Dates of work
  • Rate of work
  • Gross Wages
  • Deductions
  • Allowances
  • Net Wages
� Non-Exempt employee payroll statement must include overtime rate and overtime hours worked

Additional penalties of wage theft include $50 per workweek for not providing the information above. In addition, employers will have tort liability to employees of $100 per workweek, up to $2,500 and attorney fees.

The NYS Department of Labor is charged with publishing a bilingual form to assist employers in meeting these requirements. Many of these are available at: 

Explanation Of The Law (pdf; 279KB)

Upcoming Events

2024 LERGP Spray Program

Event Offers DEC Credits

December 5, 2023

2024 LERGP Spray Program


Commercial Vehicle Awareness slide presentation

NYS Trooper, Matt Luft, presented on Commercial Vehicle Awareness at CLEREL on Thursday, August 2nd.  He has given us the permission to share his slides for you to reference at your convenience to share with others or to review. Please reference this link. 

Straight Talk: Is H-2A Working Out in the Vineyard

Check out the story below.  Our local grower Andy Knight is one of the 3 growers interviewed.

Spotted Lanternfly Public Service Announcement

Please take a look at this PSA on YouTube.  It is narrated by our very own Jennifer Phillips Russo.
If you see a Spotted Lanternfly:
1-Take a photo
2-Collect it
3-Squish it
4-Report it

LERGP Podcasts- check them out!


LERGPLake Erie Regional Grape Program - Cornell Cooperative Extension
Your Trusted Source for Research-Based Knowledge
In Partnership with Penn State