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March 30, 2021

DOL Launches Ag Education Initiative

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has launched a nationwide education, outreach and enforcement initiative to ensure workplace protections for farmworkers.

The initiative includes targeted outreach and education efforts to ensure that farmworkers and their advocates understand their rights and that they should contact the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division to file a complaint if violations occur. The effort also focuses on educating growers, farm labor contractors, other agricultural employers and industry stakeholders to ensure that they understand their responsibilities, and that the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division is available to answer their questions.

In addition to education and outreach, the initiative’s compliance component seeks to reduce agricultural industry violations through enforcement. When appropriate, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division will suspend, revoke or withhold renewal of contractor’s farm labor certificates after multiple violations of the Migrant Seasonal Protection Act or if they fail to comply with a final order requiring the payment of a civil money penalty. The DOL may also debar H-2A employers that fail to comply with program requirements from participation for up to three years.

For H-2A filing and compliance assistance, and general legal guidance, contact Jason Resnick, senior vice president and general counsel at Western Growers, at [email protected] or (949) 885-2253.