WASHINGTON – All through the pandemic, farmworkers have remained on the job all through the nation regardless of potential exposures to feed Individuals and help U.S. exports. Because the U.S. Division of Labor acknowledges Nationwide Farmworker Consciousness Week March 25-31, the division’s Wage and Hour Division has launched a nationwide training, outreach and enforcement initiative to make sure office protections for these frontline, low-wage staff.
The initiative contains focused outreach and training efforts to make sure that farmworkers and their advocates perceive their rights and that they need to contact the division to file a grievance if violations happen. The hassle additionally focuses on educating growers, farm labor contractors, different agricultural employers and business stakeholders to make sure that they perceive their duties, and that the division is out there to reply their questions.
“The pandemic has had disproportionate impression on low-wage, important staff, together with the agricultural staff whose work feeds all of us,” mentioned Wage and Hour Division Principal Deputy Administrator Jessica Looman. “Nationwide Farmworker Consciousness Week honors the important contributions these staff make and reminds us of the problems they face. The U.S. Division of Labor is dedicated to making sure business employers adjust to federal labor legal guidelines and that they pay farmworkers all of their hard-earned wages.”
Along with training and outreach, the initiative’s compliance part seeks to scale back agricultural business violations by way of enforcement. In fiscal yr 2020, the Wage and Hour Division carried out greater than 1,000 investigations in agriculture and located greater than $7 million in again wages owed to greater than 11,000 staff. In its investigations, the division assessed employers with greater than $6 million in civil cash penalties.
Along with recovering again wages and assessing penalties, the division takes different enforcement actions.
For extra details about MSPA, H-2A and different legal guidelines enforced by the division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Data can be out there at http://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, together with an Agricultural Compliance Help Toolkit.