Legal news for California attorneys. The ACLU named the state of California in a lawsuit stating they fail to protect farm workers.
California attorney’s alert- The American Civil Liberties Union sues Cal/OSHA for workers suffering heat related illnesses and violations of safety regulations.
Los Angeles, CA—The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) http://www.aclu.org/ filed a lawsuit against the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) http://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/ for failing to protect its workers. The ACLU alleges Cal/OSHA has failed to enforce safety regulations, which have led to several farm worker’s deaths and illness due to the intense heat, as reported by ABC.
According to the ACLU there are only 187 inspectors to watch over 17 million workers in California which includes 650,000 farm workers. In 2008 alone, at least six farm workers have died from the intense heat and dozens more have experience heat-related illnesses in 2009. ACLU states California employers do not give their farm workers enough shade and quick access to water which they desperately need while working in the sun. The lawsuit names one employer, Giumarra Vineyards which alleges the vineyard neglected to provided sufficient shade and failed to supply easy access to water.
Cal/OSHA states they have and will continue to conduct investigation and enforcement efforts. The Cal/OSHA claims this year alone, 10 agricultural industry employers were ordered to stop operations due to regulation violations. In a public statement release by the Cal/OSHA Deputy Director of Communications said “ the lawsuit is misguided. California is the first state in the nation to implement a regulation to protect workers from the summer heat and we still have the strongest regulation of the state who have now instituted a heat illness prevention standard.”
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley- Legal news for California lawyers.