Farmworkers dying because of unsafe transport
According to a report from The Associated Press, over a dozen accidents involving migrant farmworkers moving to the United States resulted in at least 38 fatalities and almost 200 injuries since January 2015.
U.S. Department of Labor records show that of the 1.1 million farmworkers in the country, 71% were born overseas, and half of those people acknowledged they were working in the United States illegally. Stony Brook University history professor Lori Flores, who has studied the Mexican farmworker movement, said these scenarios are commonplace. She noted “It’s an honor system.” She referred to the regulatory processes used to ensure safe transportation processes, “And it’s only when accidents … happen that agencies might get involved. But then it’s way too late.”
Lawmakers recently enacted the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). However, transport deaths still occur for a variety of reasons. For instance, even though over 10,000 farm labor contractors are registered under the MSPA, the Department of Labor’s wage and hour division has only 976 investigators to enforce the rules under it.
Employees who have incurred job-related illnesses and injuries have the right to file for workers’ compensation benefits. If this has happened to you in Raleigh or another area in North Carolina, do not hesitate to acquire the legal services of our attorneys at Scudder & Hedrick, PLLC by calling our offices today at (919) 851-3311.