Sacramento, CA — Conditions for workers in California fields are at the center of new legislation approved in the state Senate.
The Associated Press reports that farmers could be fined thousands of dollars and possibly tossed in jail if they fail to provide field workers with adequate water and shade during the work day. California regulations already require growers to protect their workers from extreme heat, but the current rules are enforced with only civil penalties. The new legislation would add more bite. It would be a misdemeanor and farm operations could face a maximum fine of $10,000 and up to six months in jail.
It comes after two farm workers died during the recent heat wave. The legislation was approved 24-12 and now moves onto the Assembly.