02/23/2022- Press Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HEADLINE: BLAINE LARSEN FARMS HAS TAKEN MAJOR CORRECTIVE ACTIONS TO ADDRESS EMPLOYEE CONCERNS
Dalhart, TX—In the Summer of 2020, OSHA and Dept of Labor investigators audited Blaine Larsen Farms to address concerns regarding labor regulations. Larsen Farms introduced major corrective actions to address legal and employee concerns. The original complaint was that members of management were abusing their power for personal gain.
Blaine Larsen Farms takes full responsibility for their actions and/or lack thereof.
Once made aware of investigation findings, Larsen Farms immediately hired an outside Human Resources consultant who immediately helped in setting up new processes and procedures.
Larsen Farms has been in Dalhart, Texas since January 2011. Recently, Larsen Farms rented out a portion of their land to outside companies. Their warehouse processed and packages the crops harvested on that land.
The human resources department was unaware that they needed to pay time and half for warehouse workers who processed and packaged rented potatoes. This mistake led to more than 1.3 million dollars in back wages, which were paid back on April 9, 2021, to the effected workers.
It was found that a COVID-19 outbreak was inadequately reported. Larsen Farms worked with a local doctor to strategically manage the outbreak. Larsen was led to believe the local doctor would be their contact for reporting Covid. They were unaware that they needed to work through a separate entity for reporting.
Mask mandates continue on-site, and reports are made whenever there is a new COVID case, to help manage the spread of the virus.
In the audit, it was also found that company bus drivers’ licenses were no longer valid. Consequently, Larsen hired an outside vendor, to help monitor all CDL drivers’ documents.
Larsen Farms has taken these findings, along with several others, very seriously, by introducing major corrective actions, to function lawfully and to improve the employee experience for their personnel. Larsen is constantly improving their organization for the benefit of their employees and their customers.
At Larsen, the entire management group has been reconstructed. All employees who violated company policies and procedures have been terminated, and a new Human Resources department was hired.
Since the end of 2020, Larsen Farms completed two full SMETA (SEDEX Members Ethical Trade Audit) audits conducted by third parties. Larsen will continue to complete annual audits to ensure they are compliant with state and federal laws.
Vendors, customers, and employees are welcome to reach out to Human Resources at
Hr@larsenfarms.com or 806-984-2602 to bring up any concerns or suggestions, as Larsen's is dedicated to continued improvement.