Tag Archives: farm workers

6 Effective Claim Handling Tips For Undocumented Employees

July 24, 2018 by Michael B. Stack

farm workers for article, 6 Effective Claim Handling Tips For Undocumented EmployeesInterested stakeholders in workers’ compensation need to pay attention to the changing workforce as immigration continues to change the composition of the American workforce.  This includes being mindful of immigration laws and making good faith efforts to comply with the Immigration Reform and Control Act and the employment of individuals authorized to work within the United States.  Notwithstanding these efforts, people without such proper documentation enter the workforce and become injured.  This creates problems for employers and insurers that can add costs to a claim.

Understanding the Basics

The Immigration Reform and Control Act controls employment practices in the United States.  Under this law, only American citizens or non-citizens with the proper work permits are allowed to perform work legally.  However, employers continue to employ people without proper authorization – in some instances knowingly engaging in this type of employment practice.

A state’s workers’ compensation law defines eligibility for benefits.  In many instances, one’s legal employment status does not serve as a bar to benefits after following a work injury.[1]  The issue of hiring someone not legally allowed to work in the United States is not going away.  The only true way to deal with such issues is to make good faith efforts when verifying someone’s work status.  The reality is even if an employer undertakes these efforts, people not legally allowed to work will continue to seek employment.

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Lack of Interpreters Hampers Farmworkers’ Health

By Kate Moser   •   California Health Report

Female Hispanic Farm WorkerCalifornia has some of the nation’s toughest laws meant to ensure equal health care services for people who aren’t fluent in English.

But many limited English-speaking patients still lack the interpreters necessary to have meaningful communication with medical providers, particularly in emergency scenarios. The problem is acute for the communities of indigenous Mexican immigrants in California, advocates and practitioners say.

“The root of the problem is that until fairly recently, the huge indigenous population in California was under the radar,” said Sandra Young, a family nurse practitioner at a clinic in Oxnard and the president of the Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project.

Many indigenous Mexican immigrants are farmworkers, the most recent arrivals in the state’s agricultural labor market, according to the Indigenous Farmworker Study, a California Endowment-funded study completed in 2010.

Nearly half of the indigenous Mexican farmworkers in the state can be found in the Central Coast region from Oxnard to Watsonville. The study identified 23 different indigenous languages spoken in California agriculture, representing 13 Mexican states.

Of the households in Monterey County that speak a language other than English at home, nearly a third speak English less than very well, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The consequences of inadequate interpreter services can be dire. In one recent case, Young said, a Mixtec child presented in a Ventura County emergency room with an apparent respiratory infection. It turned out that the child had choked on food and was suffering from a blocked airway. The child died.

“Can you say this was because they weren’t able to give an accurate history?” Young said. “Well, no, I don’t think you can say that – but I think you can ask the question: Would they have suspected a foreign body, is it possibly a language interpretation question? In my mind, yes it is.”

Uneven Access on the Central Coast

In the Salinas Valley and Monterey County, where leaf lettuce and strawberries top the $3.85 billion annual crop, the area’s four hospitals provide uneven access to interpreter services for patients who speak indigenous languages.

Local hospital officials point to Natividad Medical Center in Salinas as the leader in providing language access to indigenous people.

Continue reading Lack of Interpreters Hampers Farmworkers’ Health

California Legislature Turning Up Heat on Farm Labor Law

Summer heat safety patch
A Hot Time in Sacramento

And burning the midnight oil.

The California Legislature is working longer hours this week to consider hundreds of bills before a Friday deadline. Farmers and farmworker advocates are watching one bill in particular that would revamp rules to protect those toiling under the summer heat. Reporter: Alice Daniel.

Click to listen. FarmLabor_heatLaw

California DIR Highlights New Laws Slated To Take Effect In 2012

seal of California Department of Labor with Capitol domeThe California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) highlights new laws that apply to California employers and take effect Jan. 1, 2012. The new laws are designed to provide protections for employees and detail requirements for new hires. Other new laws allow for employer savings in their workers’ compensation costs.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2012, California employers must provide additional information to new hires that are not exempt from overtime, are not public employees, or subject to certain collective bargaining agreements. Assembly Bill, (AB) 469 requires a written notice be provided at the time of hire that contains specified information about rate of pay, pay day designation, physical address of the employer’s main office and the name, address, and phone number of the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier.

A template of the written notice is available from the California Labor Commissioner at www.dir.ca.gov/dlse.Under the new requirements of AB 243, farm labor contractors are now required to include, in the itemized information on employee pay statements, the name and address of the legal entity (usually a grower) that secured the services of the farm labor contractor.

Payment rules for dispensing medical equipment and drugs, including compounded drugs, are prescribed by AB 378. This bill also reduces inappropriate financial incentives in order to lowers workers’ compensation costs by by prohibiting referral of a patient to a pharmacy in which the physician has financial interest.

AB 1168 lowers workers’ compensation costs by establishing a fee schedule for vocational experts. This will prohibit vocational experts from being paid fees in excess of what is allowed under the schedule.

SB 826 establishes a penalty schedule for addressing violations of workers’ compensation data reporting requirements by claims administrators.