Hispanic farmworkers represent a vulnerable workforce population. They are often discriminated against based on race, national origin, language, and immigration status. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has identified immigrant, migrant, and other vulnerable workers as an enforcement priority. The EEOC should do more to help disadvantaged Latino farmworkers.
This article by TELG managing principal R. Scott Oswald was published by Fox News Latino on July 9, 2015. The full article is available at Fox News Latino.
Opinion: Discriminatory conditions plaguing Hispanic employees need more exposure
Latino voters are playing a more significant role in electoral politics. Articles far and wide describe how 2016 presidential candidates are “wooing” Latinos to vote for them. When such focus is trained on the Latino community, it is surprising how little time is spent exposing the discriminatory conditions plaguing Hispanic employees across the country. The starkest example is the plight of Hispanic farmworkers.
Hispanic farmworkers are vulnerable in many respects: language barriers; housing controlled by employers; immigration status; fear of law enforcement; poverty-level wages; lack of formal education; transportation controlled by employers; unfamiliarity with legal system; and others.
When these risk factors making them vulnerable are piled onto each other, the result is a decreased likelihood of reporting discrimination—such as disproportionately low wages, demotions, nonpromotions, and discipline—because many Hispanic farmworkers do not know they can report. Alternatively, many fear losing their job or fear of deportation paralyzes them.