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This fact sheet examines the Fairness for Farm Workers Act, legislation to update the nation's labor laws to ensure farm workers receive fair wages and compensation. The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide overtime and additional minimum wage protections for farm workers.
This fact sheet summarizes key findings from the recently released 2019-20 results of the U.S. Department of Labor's National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS).
This Issue brief was prepared for Farmworker Justice's Environmental Justice Symposium (May 17 & 18th, 2022) addressing the impacts of the climate crisis on farmworkers in the areas of heat stress, pesticide exposure, food security, and water access.
California is home to the largest economy in the United States–and our nation's highest rate of poverty. That experience of deep hardship in the face of great prosperity holds true for many California immigrants. An estimated 11 million immigrants–including approximately 2.3 million undocumented immigrants–contribute to the rich diversity of the Golden State.The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated hardship and driven inequitable outcomes for immigrants across California. But hardships such as poverty and food insecurity persisted well before this public health emergency. Exclusionary policies continue to perpetuate poverty and food insecurity, inflicting harm on California's immigrant communities and the state at large.This brief draws on quantitative data and community voices to provide a novel, state-specific analysis of food insecurity and poverty among undocumented immigrants in California. These findings are essential to advance evidence-based policies that can make California a more equitable, inclusive place for all who call it home.
This brief is a summary of policy developments that affect farmworker health and access to health care. This issue focuses on heat stress and heat-related illness.
Recent federal and state policies may have improved access to health insurance for farmworkers, who are important contributors to California's economy and an essential link in the food supply chain. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) included an expansion of Medi-Cal to most low-income adults, and a mandate requiring companies with at least 50 workers to offer employer health insurance. California also expanded Medi-Cal to young undocumented immigrants, and will soon extend it to older individuals. This report investigates whether these policies coincided with better insurance coverage or reduced barriers to health care for immigrant farmworkers.Farmworkers are aging and more likely to settle in the US with family; thus, their health care needs—and those of their families and children—will likely grow. Cost or lack of insurance are the most salient barriers to health care for farmworkers; few farmworkers note barriers related to immigration status, although being undocumented is a strong predictor of lacking health insurance. Many documented farmworkers have enrolled in Medi-Cal following the ACA expansion, which has increased coverage rates and lowered cost and insurance barriers to health care. Undocumented farmworkers have not fared as well in these areas. Employer health insurance coverage for farmworkers did not change detectably with the rollout of the ACA employer mandate, regardless of a farmworker's documentation status or whether the worker was a direct hire versus a contractor. These findings take on special importance during the coronavirus pandemic. Farmworkers have continued to work during the public health emergency. Yet with California's high cost of housing, many farmworkers live in crowded conditions, making it difficult to remain socially distant from other household members. Although emergency Medi-Cal covers COVID-19 treatment regardless of immigration status, long COVID and resulting disability may threaten farmworkers' health and livelihoods.
Farm workers are essential to America's critical food infrastructure. Despite abundant and fertile land, our food supply of fresh fruit and vegetables relies increasingly on imported produce as labor shortages in the crop production industry persist. To shed more light on this worrying trend, we analyzed data from the United States Department of Agriculture and American Community Survey on the U.S.' fruit and vegetable supply, on the workers who harvest these crops, and the trends affecting America's agriculture industry over the past decade. We find that immigrants play a crucial role in our nation's food supply chain, and they will continue to do so as essential workers harvesting America's fruits and vegetables.
This booklet provides a 40-year retrospective on Farmworker Justice's work to advance justice for farmworkers. The mission of Farmworker Justice is to empower farmworkers and their organization to improve wages and working conditions, improve occupational safety and health, improve immigration status, and improve access to the justice system. These four broad goals have shaped the agenda of Farmworker Justice since the beginning. Our founders decided that a multi-faceted approach would work best in pursuing these goals. Their agenda included a strategic mix of administrative and legislative advocacy, training and technical assistance, coalition-building, public education, litigation, and support for union organizing.