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Agricultural Employment Lawyers

AG labor lawyers

Our AG labor lawyers help farmworkers and laborers across California. If you are being treated badly at work or forced to work in poor conditions, contact Bisnar Chase for free. Our agricultural employment attorneys will fight for you.

All workers have rights, and we are here to protect your rights. You deserve a safe workplace, whether working in an office or as a farm laborer in a field. Employers must observe California laws for wages, hours, and health and safety.

As an employee, when you endure hazardous workplaces or work long hours without proper compensation, often not by choice, you can take legal action.  You can do this even if you are an undocumented worker.

File a lawsuit with Bisnar Chase. We have a 99% success rate and have won more than $750 million for our clients. We have team members fluent in English and Spanish and offer a no-win, no-fee promise. Call or email now for a free consultation.

Labor Law

Labor law refers to the laws, regulations, and customs governing employee and employer relationships. Labor law is concerned with employment terms and conditions and conflicts that can arise from workplace disagreements.

In the United States, labor law is primarily a matter of state regulation. However, some federal labor laws apply to all U.S. employers. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and recordkeeping requirements; and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which bans discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in employment practices, including hiring, firing, promotion, compensation, training, and other terms or conditions of employment.

Various agencies enforce federal labor laws within the Department of Labor (DOL). These include the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), which enforces minimum wage requirements; the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which regulates safety standards; and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which enforces anti-discrimination laws in hiring, promotion, compensation, and other areas of employment.

Legal Resources for Farm Laborers

What Kind of Job Do You Do?

At Bisnar Chase, our labor law attorneys handle litigation for all kinds of workers. Our practice areas include both personal injury and employment claims.

If you work in a job listed below or any similar role, you may be able to file a lawsuit if you have endured dangerous or poor working conditions. Jobs include:

  • Farm laborer

  • Fieldworker

  • Factory worker

  • Packing plant worker

If you do a job linked to farm or factory work, or involving manual labor, you should be aware of your working conditions. If you are mistreated or suffer due to poor working conditions, contact Bisnar Chase. Our team can help. We have won massive compensation settlements for our clients.

Farmworkers' Rights in California: Health and Safety

Employment law in California is there to protect workers. It applies to laborers of all kinds, regardless of their immigration status. This includes farm workers, field workers, factory laborers, and more.

These jobs can be hard work involving heavy lifting and tough hours. You expect the work to be hard. But some employees are forced into poor working conditions that are against the law.

Employers have a duty of care. The law sets out strict rules for agricultural workers in California. These include:

  • Workers must get health and safety training.

  • Training must include how to use tools and machinery.

  • Employee training should also cover pesticides and other chemicals.

  • Employers must have toilets and handwashing facilities for workers to use.

  • Cool drinking water must be provided for workers.

  • Employees must get reasonable opportunities to drink water and use the restroom during the workday.

  • Facilities must be well maintained. This means clean toilets and drinking water refreshed as needed.

Protecting AG Workers

An essential part of the world food supply chain, farmworkers play a crucial role in the agriculture sector. Farmworkers are primarily responsible for planting, harvesting, and other agricultural tasks. A farmer or an agricultural company may employ them. Farmworkers may work on a temporary or full-time basis.
Farmworkers typically earn lower wages than other workers in the food industry and are also at increased risk for injury and illness due to their work environment. Farmworkers can also face discrimination from farmers if they are from a minority group or if they speak out about unsafe working conditions.
Farmworkers must be protected by laws that ensure their basic rights, including the right to form unions, bargain collectively, and receive a fair wage for their work. Without these basic protections, farmworkers are exposed to abuse and exploitation that can lead to serious health problems, including cancer and birth defects.

Restrooms and Handwashing Facilities

There are strict rules for employers when providing restrooms for farm and field workers.

  • One toilet and sink must be on-site per 20 employees of each gender.

  • Wet wipes do not count as handwashing facilities.

  • The facilities must be within a quarter-mile of the worksite where possible.

  • Employees can be shuttled to a restroom if they do fieldwork for less than two hours or if there are fewer than five workers.

These are just some of the laws enforced by the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (CAL/OSHA). If your employer is violating these rules, call a lawyer today.

Minimum Wage and Hour Rules for Farm Laborers

Working conditions do not just refer to the physical workplace. We also have to consider salary and hours worked.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) took force in 1938. In part, it guarantees workers in the U.S. a minimum pay level. At first, it did not include agricultural businesses. But it was expanded to include farmworkers in 1966.

California Minimum Wage and Overtime

The minimum wage for workers on farms is in line with others across California. It is still increasing. As of 2023:

  • The minimum wage in California is $15.50 per hour at large companies (with 26+ employees).

  • For smaller companies (25 or fewer employees), the minimum wage has been rising year on year and is $15 as of 2023.

Those amounts are the absolute lowest any employer is legally allowed to pay. Some cities and counties within California also enforce their own laws with higher minimum wages.

At one time, agricultural companies did not have to pay overtime. But that is no longer the case.

  • Large operations must pay employees 1.5x pay after working 8 hours a day or 40 hours a week. They must pay 2x wage after 12 hours.

  • Smaller farms (25 or fewer employees) owe overtime pay after 9 hours or a 50-hour week.

  • The overtime pay laws in California are still evolving and will gradually increase to bring agricultural workers in line with other industries. Check the timetable here.

If you work on a farm and receive too little pay or your employer forces you to work overtime without pay, you can file a lawsuit. You need a  labor lawyer on your side who will hold your employer accountable.

Housing and Transportation Laws

Some employers who operate farms will house workers on-site. They often do so during peak seasons, such as harvesting periods. Seasonal hiring allows for maximum productivity when needed.

When farmers provide housing and transport for laborers, they must observe laws in place to protect the workers.

Any employers owning or controlling housing and transport for seasonal or migrant farmworkers must ensure the facilities meet state and federal health and safety rules. If they refuse to do so, they could face a lawsuit.

Housed in poor facilities that are not properly maintained? Contact an agricultural employment lawyer. Our attorneys have experience helping farmworkers pursue legal action in California. Call Bisnar Chase for a free consultation at (800) 561-4887.

California Employment Law: Meal Periods and Rest Breaks

In addition to the federal laws in place to protect agricultural workers across the United States, California also has strict state laws that protect all employees.

Everyone is entitled to meal periods and rest breaks, depending on the hours you work.

  • If you work at least 3.5 hours, you get a 10-minute rest break.
  • You get a second break after working 6 hours, and another after 10 hours.
  • The break must last for 10 minutes and be uninterrupted. You do not have to stay on work premises, and you cannot be ordered to work during that time.

Workers are also entitled to meal breaks, as well as rest breaks.

  • You get a meal break when you work for at least five hours.
  • The meal break must last at least 30 minutes and start before the end of the fifth hour of your shift.

If your employer does not allow you to take your rest and meal breaks, you can take legal action.

What are Poor Working Conditions?

What counts as poor working conditions? And when can a farm worker or laborer file a lawsuit?

You may be able to file a workplace lawsuit if your boss has failed to meet legal standards. For example, poor working conditions could include:

  • Heat exposure

  • No shade

  • Lack of clean and cool drinking water

  • Inadequate tools

  • Lack of safety equipment or training

  • Exposure to pesticides

  • Sub-par restroom and handwashing facilities

  • Wages below the legal level

  • Refusal to pay overtime

  • Denied legal breaks and rest periods

Some of the conditions listed above can put a worker at risk. Denying a farmworker break, shade, or fluids in peak California heats is extremely dangerous.

Employers have a legal and ethical obligation to provide proper care to employees. When an organization or boss puts a worker in danger or refuses to offer adequate pay or breaks, they must be exposed.

If you feel that you are working in bad conditions or are not receiving legally-required benefits, there are steps that you can take. You can file a report with labor watchdogs, such as CAL/OSHA. But you can also call Bisnar Chase.

An agriculture attorney can work with legal and undocumented employees. Employment lawyers work with you to secure compensation for your suffering. Our mission is to hold employers accountable and protect workers who are just trying to make an honest wage.

Farm Accidents and Injuries

Our employment law team deals with poor working conditions. However, the injury attorneys at our firm also handle farm accidents that leave workers with serious injuries.

In most cases, an injury caused by an employer or co-worker on a farm will be resolved through a workers’ compensation claim. But injuries caused by third parties, such as negligent equipment manufacturers, can lead to injury lawsuits. Contact our team at Bisnar Chase to find out which option best suits your case.

Poor Working Conditions for Factory Workers

So far, we have focused on poor working conditions for farmworkers. But these same laws apply to all kinds of laborers across different jobs and fields.

For example, employees in factories also often face poor or unsafe conditions. The factory may be part of a farming organization or in a completely different industry.

Factory workers may not have to face the beating sun, but they can experience the following:

  • Uncomfortable conditions, such as high heat with no air conditioning

  • No drinking water

  • Long hours

  • Lack of facilities

  • Denial of breaks and rest periods

  • Dangerous equipment

  • Lack of compensation

  • High stress due to quotas

  • Heavy lifting

Just because an employee is not out working in a field does not mean they are not dealing with poor working conditions. Factories can be stifling and stressful, with extreme heat even though workers are under shade.

If you work in a factory and have been subject to these or other dangerous conditions, contact a lawyer at Bisnar Chase. Our attorneys have won over $750 million for our clients with a 99% success rate. We can help you too.

Does Employment Law Apply to Seasonal Workers?

Farming is an unusual business. Hard work is required all year round. However, there are peak periods that see the workload spike.

Organizations often bring in seasonal workers to help deal with the added work and pressure at busy times.

But the law still applies to seasonal or temporary workers, whether or not they have formal contracts.

The Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act protects seasonal farmworkers. It includes rules on wages and hours, record-keeping for employers, making workers aware of their rights, etc.

Of course, if you are the victim of workplace violations, you should contact our AG labor lawyers for expert support.

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment: Who is Protected?

Every worker in California is protected by laws regarding working conditions, pay, overtime, and breaks. But laws are also in place in California to protect workers from harassment and discrimination in the workplace.

Employers are not allowed to discriminate against you based on any of the following factors:

  • Race or skin color.
  • Religion.
  • Ancestry.
  • Gender or identity.
  • Age.
  • Disability.
  • Sexual orientation.
  • Military status.
  • Marital status.
  • Medical conditions.

If you have experienced discrimination or harassment in the workplace over any of these protected classes, you should contact an attorney immediately.

Can Undocumented Migrant Farm Workers Sue an Employer?

Migrant workers often fill farming jobs. Many people cross the border every year looking for work. And one of the most common occupations for migrant workers is seasonal farm labor.

In many cases, migrant farmworkers are undocumented. Under U.S. immigration law, that means they are not legal residents. It also means that they technically should not be working in the United States.

Plenty of employers use this fact to mistreat their employees. They might try to underpay the workers or force them to work long hours without breaks. Bosses sometimes do not bother providing proper facilities, training, or safety conditions.

An employer might assume that the migrant workers will accept poor working conditions and a lack of health and safety without complaint. In some cases, they are just grateful to have the job.

It is okay to be grateful for a job. But it is not okay for employers to mistreat workers and provide an unsafe workplace. Undocumented workers do not have to accept this.

Many migrant workers do not believe they can file a lawsuit against an employer over poor working conditions because they are undocumented. But that is not the case.

U.S. immigration law does not prevent undocumented migrant workers from filing a labor lawsuit. Find out more about the laws for undocumented workers without legal status below.

Call or email our agricultural employment attorneys now if you have had to deal with poor working conditions. We can help.

Employment Laws for Undocumented Workers in the U.S.

Are you a migrant worker in the U.S.? Are you doing your job in poor working conditions? If so, you have many of the same rights in the workplace that people with legal status do.

You do not have to accept bad conditions. Report your case to an attorney at Bisnar Chase now. Our team will give you the help you need to take action.

There are some exceptions. But in most cases, an undocumented migrant worker without legal immigration status in the U.S. will still have the same legal rights as other employees.

Labor laws for undocumented workers (under state and federal law, such as the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act) include:

Health and Safety Laws: Health and safety laws are the same for all employees. Your immigration status does not matter. Your safety on the job is the most important thing in U.S. labor cases. Any employer flouting health and safety rules, putting employees in bad working conditions, should face a lawsuit.

Wage and Hour Rights: In most cases, workers without legal immigration status have the same pay and hour rights as everyone else. California state law entitles undocumented workers to minimum wage and overtime compensation. In addition, regular breaks must be provided.

➤ Workers’ Compensation Benefits: Many undocumented workers believe that they cannot claim workers’ compensation benefits. But they can. Anyone hurt in the workplace or while doing their job is eligible for benefits. These may cover medical treatment and lost wages, depending on your employment. In most cases, a lawyer can help you pursue these benefits.

Please note that undocumented workers do not get all the same benefits as legal employees. For example, they cannot claim or be paid unemployment insurance.

Can a Company Retaliate Against Undocumented Workers?

You may work for a company with greedy management that does not care about its migrant workers. Sometimes, such an employer might try to lash out at complaining workers.

As outlined above, undocumented workers have most of the same benefits and protections as legal employees. No one should face workplace health and safety hazards. Equally, no one should face a backlash for exposing bad bosses.

At Bisnar Chase, we fight for the rights of both undocumented and legal employees.

With undocumented workers, there is a danger that an employer will retaliate against you if you file a lawsuit against them for poor working conditions.

Retaliation could even involve reporting the employee to ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or threatening deportation.

However, there are laws that can stop an employer from retaliating in such a way.

  • Retaliation is illegal. An employer that does so would face double liability.

  • ICE is allowed to follow up on an immigration report. But under California law, a company is banned from reporting or threatening to report an employee’s immigration status due to an employee expressing concerns about labor law violations.

  • A company that makes such a report against an employee can have its business license revoked or suspended.

It is okay to have concerns about filing a lawsuit against an employer. It is a big decision. But you can speak to our labor and employment attorneys at Bisnar Chase first. Talk to a lawyer before making any decisions. The initial consultation is free and has no obligations.

When Should You File a Lawsuit Against an Employer?

A worker should file a lawsuit against their employer if the boss forces them to work in unsafe conditions, if the job is not adequately compensated, or if the employers violate any other rights.

Many employees delay taking legal action. People hope that the employer will change or that safety will improve. In most cases, this does not happen.

We must hold businesses accountable if they do not treat employees well. In many cases, it will not just be you suffering mistreatment. Filing a lawsuit can help secure compensation. It can also help change the way the company runs for the better. You often help others, as well as yourself.

Contact Bisnar Chase as soon as possible. Regardless of your U.S. immigration status, we can help employees secure the compensation they deserve from negligent employers.

Labor Lawsuit FAQs

As an employee in the U.S., regardless of immigration status, you have rights. But filing a lawsuit against your employer can be scary.

Check out a few of the most frequently asked questions about labor lawsuits below. If you have a question that the information on this page has not answered, do not hesitate to contact us for free information.

Yes. As an employee in the U.S., you are entitled to minimum wage pay, meal and break times, and overtime pay. A worker is entitled to this, even if they are undocumented.

Yes. A migrant employee can sue an organization or business for poor working conditions. Their immigration status does not affect this right. Every employee has the right to a safe workplace.

If you work in California and have endured bad job conditions, you can sue. Poor conditions can include all kinds of factors. It may involve unsafe conditions, a lack of legally required facilities, compensation below minimum wage, and more. Contact a lawyer at Bisnar Chase for information.

Yes. Bisnar Chase offers a free case review and then works on a no win, no fee basis to protect clients from out-of-pocket costs. Everyone can afford to hire our firm.

Take on Employers with No Win, No Fee Labor Attorneys

One of the things holding people back from filing a lawsuit is cost. Many people think lawyers are paid a lot and will be too expensive.

But at Bisnar Chase, we offer our services on a no win, no fee basis. That means you pay nothing upfront. We work for you, dedicated to your best interests. Our services involve advancing the costs to get your case started.

If we win for you, most of the recovery will go to you. A percentage goes to our firm to cover our time and expenses. The law caps that percentage. Generally, all firms will charge the same. This law prevents rogue firms from ripping you off.

If we do not win, you owe us nothing. Call Bisnar Chase now to learn more about our no win, no fee service. We help all people, regardless of U.S. immigration status.

Spanish Speakers on Your Team

Many migrant workers come across the border each year to seek jobs on farms and in factories in California. An employer is required by law not to hire a worker if their immigration status is in question. However, many will hire undocumented employees anyway.

A lot of those migrant workers speak only Spanish or speak Spanish as their first language. If that is the case for you or for someone you know, Bisnar Chase can still help.

Our team has people fluent in both English and Spanish to ensure top-class communication and superior representation.

Click here to view the Spanish version of our website.

Find the Best Lawyer for Farm Workers and Laborers Near Me

Bisnar Chase is the best law firm for employment cases involving poor working conditions in California. We have a team dedicated to labor law claims.

Our team has handled all kinds of employment cases. We help farmworkers and laborers who are shortchanged by greedy employers or put at risk by dangerous or uncomfortable workplaces.

For example, if you are a field worker who is denied breaks, forced out in the blazing sun with no protection, or denied drinking water, you could have a case.

But why is Bisnar Chase the best law firm for you?

  • Our office is based in Southern California, and we have won cases all over the state.

  • We have a 99% success rate.

  • Our firm has the resources to take on major cases, including suing powerful employers.

  • Successfully representing thousands of clients, we have won more than $750 million.

  • Launched in 1978, our firm has more than four decades of success.

  • We offer a free consultation with a no win, no fee guarantee.

  • Spanish speakers.

  • A dedicated employment law team.

  • We represent all people, no matter their immigration status.

We offer superior representation, fighting for your rights at all times.

 Contact the agricultural employment lawyers at Bisnar Chase now. Call (800) 561-4887, send us an email, or get in touch using our website live chat.

AG Labor Attorneys

  • Farming, factory, and labor jobs are common in California. They are also extremely physically demanding.
  • Some employers try to take advantage of laborers, especially migrant workers. They may not pay minimum wage or overtime, deny breaks and facilities, and more.
  • Employers have a legal duty of care to their workers. Immigration status does not matter – all workers have rights.
  • If you suffer from poor working conditions, know your rights and contact an AG labor law attorney today.

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