Make unemployment benefits and sufficient paid sick leave available to farm workers

Make unemployment benefits and sufficient paid sick leave available to farm workers, sign this petition to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi today!

As COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, it has become clear that not all workers are eligible for unemployment benefits or sufficient paid sick leave. This dilemma is particularly severe in the case of farm workers, many of whom are undocumented or are laboring in the fields as so-called guest workers (H-2A workers).

Over half of all farm workers in the United States are undocumented, or perhaps as many a million workers. In addition to these undocumented workers, there are about 300,000 H-2A workers. Neither undocumented nor H-2A workers are legally eligible for unemployment benefits in most states. In California, if these workers were to contract COVID-19, the three days of paid sick leave the state requires for ((un)documented) farm workers would not suffice to see them recover, and it is unclear what would happen to H-2A workers.

Sign this petition to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and share it on social media

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

We are deeply worried about the spread of the COVID-19 virus, which affects all people irrespective of their nationality, age, gender, or legal status.

This pandemic has shown that inequalities continue to persist when it comes to workers’ rights to unemployment benefits or paid sick leave. As agriculture remains exempt from the shelter-in-place orders, farm workers continue to labor in the fields as front-line workers with little or no security if they were to contract COVID-19.

We ask you to include access to unemployment payments and sufficient sick leave for farm workers, regardless of immigration status, in the next emergency legislation. In fact, this should be guaranteed to all workers in the United States, regardless of immigration status.



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