Latest News

Below are our latest news on important news and events relating to policy changes and issues affecting farmworkers and their families.

September 28, 2015

Farmworker Justice is pleased that the EPA has issued an improved Worker Protection Standard (WPS) today and that it includes many important new protections from exposure to pesticides for farmworkers. Farmworkers are routinely exposed to high levels of pesticides in the fields where they work and in the communities where they live. We hope that the improved regulation will result in greater awareness by farmworkers of the risks they face, stronger protections from exposure, and ultimately, fewer pesticide-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths among farmworkers and their family members.

The revised WPS establishes a minimum age of 18 for pesticide handlers; increases the frequency of worker safety training from once every five years to every year; improves the content and quality of worker safety trainings; provides new rules on decontamination and personal protective equipment; and improves the quality of information that workers receive about the pesticides that have been applied at their workplace. While we are disappointed that the final rule does not include some significant safety measures, we will continue to work with our community partners to advocate for greater worker protections at EPA and at the state and local levels.

In the months to come, we will reach out to farmworkers to help them understand the changes in the law and continue to work to help them understand their right to a safe workplace and environment. We will also work with EPA to ensure timely implementation and strong enforcement of the new rule, and continued engagement with farmworker communities.

September 25, 2015

The Migration Policy Institute held a briefing on September 16, 2015 titled “ What's New in Farm Labor? Immigration and the Agricultural Sector.” The briefing largely focused on data trends in the farm labor market and whether there are indications that the farm labor market is tightening. The briefing also examined the potential impact of legalization of undocumented immigrants on retention of farmworkers as well as a brief discussion of the H-2A guestworker program and future-flow policy proposals.

Read our blog summarizing the briefing and discussed data.

September 25, 2015

September 27th marks the observance of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Awareness days present an important opportunity for outreach workers to step into their communities and offer this critical information on prevention, testing and treatment to all farmworkers.

Recently, Farmworker Justice issued a brief detailing the challenges faced by LGBT farmworkers in their communities.