Farmworker Rights Under MSPA

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers (MSFWs or farmworkers) by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping.  MSPA also requires farm labor contractors to register with the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL). For more general information on MSPA, please see USDOL Wage and Hour’s Fact Sheet 49.

USDOL maintains a list of individuals or corporations whose authorization to operate as a farm labor contractor has been revoked.  Please see the list of ineligible contractors to determine if you will work for or hire a specific farm labor contractor.

Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association which is subject to MSPA and who employs any migrant or seasonal agricultural workers shall post and keep posted in a conspicuous place at the place of employment a USDOL- prepared poster explaining the rights and protections for workers required under MSPA.  The link below will open a PDF version of the English/Spanish poster.

MSPA violations may be reported to me using any of the methods on this website’s Contact Me page.

MSPA Poster

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Employee Rights Under the H-2A Program

Section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the lawful admission of temporary, nonimmigrant workers (H-2A workers) to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural labor or services in the United States.  Employers must file an application with the U.S. Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration stating, among other things, that there are not sufficient domestic (U.S.) workers who are able, willing, qualified, and available to do the work, and that the employment of aliens will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers similarly employed in the U.S.  Any employer using H-2A workers must have initially attempted to find U.S. workers to fill these jobs.  Only then will the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approve an employer’s petition for such workers.

H-2A workers and domestic workers in corresponding employment must be paid special rates of pay that vary by locality, must be provided housing and transportation from that housing to the job site if their employment requires them to be away from their residence overnight, and must be guaranteed an offer of employment for a total number of hours equal to at least 75% of the work period specified in the contract.

The following posters itemize the rights guaranteed to workers under the H-2A Program. In Kansas, report violations to me using any of the methods on this web site’s Contact Me page or by phoning the number at the bottom of the posters.

English Poster:  H-2a Rights WHD1491Eng_H2A

Spanish Poster:  H-2A Rights WHD1491Span_H2A

KSFHP Plans 2016 Activities

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s Statewide Farmworker Health Program (KSFHP) held its yearly day-long strategic planning session on Tuesday, November 17, at the K-State Extension office in Wichita, KS.   Meeting time was used to review 2015’s progress towards meeting yearly goals and plan 2016 activities.  The meeting was attended by both staff and advisory council members.

Outgoing Advisory Council Chair Doris Tompkins was presented with a certificate of appreciation for her years of service to the program.  Doris will retire at the end of the year.

Kendra and Doris
Kendra and Doris

After an ice breaker, the business agenda topics included:

  • KSFHP Staff and Board Chair Transition
  • National Center for Farmworker Health Conference Review
  • Advisory Council Bylaws Discussion
  • KSFHP Quality Assurance / Quality Improvements updates on:
    • Performance Improvement Plan
    • Focus Group Report
    • Provider Satisfaction survey
    • Chart Audits Report
    • Peer Review Report
    • Utilization Review Report
    • 2014 Health Survey Report
  • 2015 Strategic Work Plan Review
  • 2016 Strategic Work Plan Discussion
  • Closing and Next Steps

A draft of the 2016 Work Plan will be presented to the Advisory Council prior to their December 14, 2015, tele-conference.

Pictured below is the KSFHP administrative and program staff:

L to R: Diana, Pat, Teri, Heather, Rico, Kendra, Mario, Mary Helen, Tina, Jessica, Diana
L to R: Diana, Pat, Teri, Heather, Rico, Kendra, Mario, Mary, Helen, Tina, Jessica, Diana

This is a picture of the Advisory Council members in attendance:

L to R: Margaritha, Lotti, Rachel, Harold, Vada, Marci, Doris, Jenny, and Chelsea.
L to R: Margareth, Lotti, Rachel, Harold, Vada, Marcy, Doris, Jenny, and Chelsea.

Heather’s ice breaker turned out to be a puzzle which showed how each individual piece (representing a person) makes the program complete:

Ice Breaker Puzzle

Work session photos:

Staff & Board 2

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Mario, Diana, and HaroldMary, Rico, and Heather

More information about the KSFHP can be found on this site.

~Jenny Tavares, Kansas Monitor Advocate

 

 

Mas Protección a los Trabajadores Agrícolas por la EPA

La Agencia de Protección Ambiental (EPA) ha revisado la reglamentación del Estándar de Protección a los Trabajadores Agrícolas, promulgado en 1992, para aumentar la protección contra la exposición a los plaguicidas (pesticidas) los dos millones de trabajadores agrícolas de la nación y sus familias. Estos cambios proporcionarán protecciones de salud a los trabajadores agrícolas similares a las que ya disponen trabajadores en otras industrias, teniendo en cuenta el entorno laboral único de muchos trabajos agrícolas.

El Reglamento tiene por objeto proteger y reducir los riesgos de lesión o enfermedad resultantes por el uso y contacto con plaguicidas en granjas, bosques, viveros e invernaderos a los trabajadores agrícolas (aquellos que realizan tareas manuales en los cultivos tratados con plaguicidas, tales como: cosechar, ralear y podar) y manipuladores de plaguicidas (aquellos que mezclan, cargan y aplican plaguicidas). El reglamento no cubre a las personas que trabajan con el ganado.

Los cambios primordiales a la reglamentación:

  • Requiere una capacitación de seguridad anual para informar a los trabajadores agrícolas sobre las protecciones requeridas. Esto aumentará la probabilidad de que se prosigan dichas protecciones. Actualmente, la capacitación se hace una vez cada 5 años.
  • La ampliación en la capacitación incluirá instrucciones para reducir la exposición incluyendo el conocimiento de medidas para prevenir el acarreo de residuos de plaguicidas remanentes en la ropa de trabajo a los hogares, además de otros temas de seguridad.
  • Establece por primera vez requisitos de edad mínima: se prohíbe el manejo de plaguicidas a los niños menores de 18 años, con una exención para la agricultura familiar.
  • Se amplían los requisitos de rotulación obligatoria para restringir la entrada en áreas tratadas con los plaguicidas más peligrosos. Los rótulos prohíben la entrada en campos tratados con plaguicidas hasta que los residuos disminuyan a un nivel seguro.
  • El establecimiento de nuevas zonas de exclusión de entrada durante la aplicación de plaguicidas con una extensión de hasta 100 pies circundantes a los equipos de aplicación protegerá a los trabajadores y otras personas de la exposición del rociado excesivo de plaguicidas.
  • Obligación de proporcionar, de más de un modo, a los trabajadores agrícolas y sus representantes, el acceso a la información relevante a la aplicación de plaguicidas y las hojas de datos de seguridad; publicando esta información en un lugar centralizado y accesible o proveyendo los registros cuando éstos sean solicitados.
  • Mantenimiento de registros obligatorios para mejorar la capacidad de los estados para el seguimiento de violaciones y reforzar el cumplimiento en el uso de plaguicidas. Los registros con información sobre la aplicación específica de plaguicidas, así como la documentación sobre la capacitación de los trabajadores agrícolas, deberán mantenerse por un período de dos años.
  • Las disposiciones anti- represalias son comparables a las del Departamento del Trabajo (DOL, por sus siglas en inglés).
  • Cambios en el equipo de protección personal para asegurar conformidad con las normas de la Administración de Seguridad y Salud Ocupacional del DOL para garantizar la eficiencia de los respiradores, incluyendo pruebas de ajuste, evaluación médica y capacitación.
  • Se especifica la cantidad de agua que se utilizará para el lavado rutinario y lavado de ojos en casos de emergencia para los manipuladores de plaguicidas, así como para otros sistemas de descontaminación y lavado de ojos en los lugares donde se mezclan y cargan los plaguicidas.
  • Se continúa con la exención para los granjeros y miembros de su familia que trabajan en granjas familiares y se amplia la definición de de lo que constituye la “familia inmediata”.

Kansas Alcohol Related Laws page added

A page on Kansas Alcohol Related Laws has been added to this website.  It can be found under the Traveling in Kansas tab.  The page includes a Spanish/English brochure on Drunk Driving and lists the different alcohol related laws in this state.  It includes a link to the Kansas Safety Traffic Resource Office which has much information on traffic safety.

~Jenny

New Immigration Services Page Added

A new page has been added to the Kansas Monitor Advocate website under the Kansas Programs & Agencies tab.  The new Immigration Services page provides website contact information for the Wichita and Kansas City U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field offices and Kansas Catholic Charities which provide immigration assistance.  Finally, the page includes information and links for lodging complaints of Notario Fraud with the Federal Trade Commission or the Kansas Attorney General

~Jenny

Farmworker Services map added…

A Map of Kansas farmworker services was created and can now be found on its own subpage to this website’s Traveling in Kansas tab.

The map includes pins to show where farmworker services providers are located throughout the state.  The following services are included:

  • State Monitor Advocate
  • Kansas Workforce Centers
  • Social Service Agencies
  • Harvest America Corp.
  • Farmworker Health Program
  • Education Assistance (HEP & CAMP)

The map’s page gives instructions on how to turn the map’s layers on and off.  Your feedback on future additions will be greatly appreciated.

Link:  Kansas Map of Services page

Thank you.

~Jenny

MSFW Contacts In Other States

USDOL logoA new page has been added to this website under the Contact Me tab.  The new page gives contact information for USDOL Region V State Monitor Advocates (SMA).  These states include:  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin.  The page also gives a link for the most current version of the National SMA directory.

Please Contact Me if you need to find someone to help you in another state or need more information.

~Jenny

 

Ag. Worker Protection Page Added

A page about the Worker Protection Standards (WPS) and pesticide exposure information has been added to this website.  It includes links to the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s online complaint forms and numbers to call in case of pesticide exposure.  The page also includes an English and Spanish flyer on what to do if anyone is exposed to pesticides.

Thank you,

~Jenny

Resources for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers in Kansas

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