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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
1-25-13

EEOC Joins With Louisiana State and Federal Agencies to Promote Farmworker Job Rights

Agencies to Help Farmers Comply With  State and Federal Employment Laws

NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Field  Office of the U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will join  with two other federal agencies, the U.S. Department of Labor and the National  Labor Relations Board, and two state agencies - the Louisiana Workforce  Commission and the Louisiana Department of Education - to provide guidance to  farmers, advocates, and attorneys on the employment and education rights of  workers in the agriculture industry.

A no-cost seminar for business owners,  especially small business owners, will be held Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013, 8:30 -  4:30 p.m., at the American Red Cross facility, 4655 Sherwood Common, Baton  Rouge, La.  This will be an opportunity  to talk with the agencies that enforce employment laws at the state and federal  levels.

Each  year, Louisiana agricultural employers hire thousands of workers.  More than 7,000 of these workers are  non-citizens working through seasonal, temporary, or migrant worker  programs. Yet many employers are not  fully aware of all the labor laws and regulations that cover agricultural  employment.  This seminar will be an  opportunity to learn about employment laws and regulations and farmworker  programs that will help reduce employer liability.

A few of the potential benefits include:

  • better employer/employee relationships, which may reduce grievances and worker turnover while improving productivity;
  • less civil and legal liability;
  • improved safety and accident avoidance; and
  • knowledge of educational opportunities for farmworker youths and the children of farm employees.

The  goal is to disseminate information that directly affects employment practices  and to provide an opportunity for open dialog on agricultural employment  issues. 

 "We want to encourage compliance with  employment laws, as well as foster relationships between state and federal  agencies and employers to promote equal opportunity in the agricultural  industry," said Keith T. Hill, field director of the EEOC New Orleans Field  Office. 

Bring your questions and comments for discussion. Where else will you get so much information,  at one place, and at one time?

Register for this no-cost seminar by contacting Tydell Whitfield  at 504-595-2838, 504-595-2884 via fax, or e-mail her at tydell.whitfield@eeoc.gov.  Seating is limited.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Additional  information about the EEOC is available on the agency's web site at www.eeoc.gov.