Many people in California work in agriculture. These hard working individuals are responsible for planting and harvesting many of the crops that the state produces. While these people fill an essential role in the state's economy, they are often subject to unsafe working conditions and inadequate pay. These can include exposure to dangerous machinery without adequate training, long hours in the hot sun and exposure to dangerous chemicals. Despite these dangers, many of these workers receive less than minimum wage for their hard work.
California farm workers need to understand that this is not acceptable. Employers are responsible for upholding certain employee laws. These state and federal laws provide protections for employees and guarantee a certain amount of pay. Violations of these laws may result in the right to bring an employment law suit against an employer.
These laws include the right to fair pay. Under minimum wage laws, workers need to be paid fairly. This includes, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, being paid for time spent traveling between fields during the day, time spent waiting for a field to dry or a machines to be repaired and short breaks during the day.
Additionally, workers have the right to safe working conditions. These include safe transportation to a job site, access to free drinking water while working, access to toilets and hand washing stations. If housing is provided by an employer, the housing facilities must also be safe and clean, have enough beds for everyone and have hot and cold running water.
When employers break these basic rules, employees suffer. An attorney may be able to explain a worker's options when they have suffered from pay and benefit issues or unsafe working conditions in any line of work. By taking legal action, people may be entitled to compensation and protect themselves from harm in the workplace.