Farmworker Justice is a nonprofit organization that seeks to empower migrant and seasonal farmworkers to improve their living and working conditions, immigration status, health, occupational safety, and access to justice.

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Featured Blog

June 04, 2020

High COVID Risk Among Farmworkers

Farmworkers face a threat of high numbers of COVID-19 infections among their community. On one Tennessee farm all two hundred workers tested positive, and throughout the country farmworker communities are seeing high numbers of infections due to, among other reasons, an inability to isolate from one another at work or in employer provided housing. Little is being done to prevent infections. Social distancing guidelines are not being implemented by many employers, and the safety precautions being taken are often inadequate...

June 02, 2020

Farmworker Justice condemns the murder of George Floyd by police officers in Minneapolis and expresses its condolences to Mr. Floyd’s family.  The Farmworker Justice Board and staff stand in solidarity with the Black community in its demands for justice in this case and for eradication of the systemic racism that infects law enforcement and many other institutions in this nation...

May 21, 2020

The lack of a federal standard to protect agricultural workers from heat stress endangers the health and lives of farmworkers across the U.S. Heat stress is a frequent risk to farmworkers, who often spend long periods doing physically-demanding work in high temperatures and humidity. Beyond the risk of hyperthermia –or heat stroke—agricultural workers laboring in these conditions also face the possibility of developing a disabling and potentially fatal form of chronic kidney disease (CKD).  An increasing number of scientific studies point to heat stress and dehydration as the potential causes of CKD among farmworkers. An international group of researchers conducting a study of sugar cane workers in Chichigalpa, Nicaragua –an area with high CKD rates—recently found that providing basic protections to these farmworkers, such as access to drinking water, and rest breaks in shaded areas, drastically reduced rates of incident kidney injury (IKI). IKI, a measure of kidney injury over a span of time –the November-April harvest period, in this study—is an indicator of CKD risk. Burned cane cutters, who had the highest workload among the farmworkers studied and were at highest risk of heat stress, had a 74% decrease in rates of IKI, from 27% of workers to 7%.

Latest News

May 28, 2020

Today, the leaders of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the U.S. Department of Labor and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in the CDC at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services testified before the House Education and Labor Committee Subcommittee on Workforce Protections about their activities regarding worker safety and health during the COVID-19 pandemic...The Trump Administration officials utterly failed to explain in any rational sense the refusal by OSHA to issue binding occupational safety standards to protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

May 12, 2020

We are organizations representing the interests of the estimated two to three million US farmworkers, officially deemed “essential workers” by the federal government but denied the aid, rights and protections needed to mitigate the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmworkers feed the world through their labor, bringing fruits, vegetables, and dairy to homes across the nation. As the backbone of this country’s food source, their work is critical to keep food on our tables and grocery stores stocked, yet they and their work is not properly valued.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act brought much-needed relief to communities across America, but excluded the undocumented community, including many farmworkers, from critical relief. We are deeply concerned that the pressing health and welfare concerns of the farmworker community is not receiving the attention and urgency needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens their lives as well as the security of our entire food supply...

May 08, 2020

            Farmworker Justice, the Washington, D.C.-based national advocacy organization for farmworkers – the people who labor in the nation’s farms and ranches – and their family members, has issued a new report regarding proposals to lower farmworkers’ wages.  Congress and the Administration Must Not Cut Farmworkers’ Wages in the H-2A Guestworker Program.

            There is a proposal in a bill in the House of Representatives to lower wage rates for tens of thousands of farmworkers and that proposal is also under consideration by the Trump Administration in a long-planned change to regulations.

            The proposed wage cut would occur under the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program.  In fiscal year 2019, the Department of Labor approved 257,000 H-2A jobs, a number that has been increasing in recent years.