Maine Monitor Advocate
The State Monitor Advocate monitors agricultural employers for compliance with the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. To do this, the Monitor Advocate:
- Conducts field checks in the agriculture industry.
- Provides information and advocacy for migrant and seasonal farmworkers on issues such as wages, housing and discrimination.
- Informs farmworkers of their worker rights,right to file a complaint, and the services available to them Maine CareerCenters.
- Ensures that migrant workers seeking employment services receive the same level of service as nonagricultural or nonimmigrant CareerCenter customers.
Maine Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Demographic Survey 2015 (HTML)
This survey provides opportunity for state agencies, legislators, service providers, and the public with a glimpse of who migrant farm workers are, why they come to Maine, and where they come from. The survey sheds light on the fact that migrant farmworkers comprise 62 percent of Maine’s farm hired labor workforce, contributing to the local economy, yet going unnoticed as an important sector of Maine’s workforce.
Current Helpful Resources
The COVID-19 pandemic poses a serious safety and health risk to farmworkers who often work, live, and are transported in close proximity to each other. Widespread illness among farmworkers could significantly impact the nation’s food supply. The CDC and OSHA have issued guidelines for safe workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), provided here are recently updated CDC and OSHA COVID-19-related guidance for agricultural employers (and workplaces in general) to follow safety and health practices to safeguard their farms and employees against exposure to COVID-19.
- Agriculture as critical infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has designated farmers and farmworkers “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” (see below).CISA advises that promoting the ability of such workers to continue to work during periods of community restriction, access management, social distancing, or closure orders/directives is crucial to community resilience and continuity of essential functions.
- Safety guidance for agricultural workers. OSHA, in collaboration with CDC, published Interim Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers (see below). Additionally, the CDC published Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (see below).
The following are some federal resources (including resources in Spanish) that may be taken into consideration:
- Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers per CISA: https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce
- Interim Guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers per OSHA/CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-agricultural-workers.html
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to COVID-19 per CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
- How to Protect Yourself and Others, which includes some resources in Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
- Social media toolkit in Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/social-media-toolkit-es.html
- Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html
- US Department of Labor COVID-19 related resources: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus
- Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus (English): https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3994.pdf
- Ten Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk of Exposure to Coronavirus (Spanish): https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3995.pdf
- Households Living in Close Quarters Guidance: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/living-in-close-quarters.html
- Health Resources and Services Administration Data Warehouse to Identify the Health Center Nearest You: https://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/
- Map of Major Crop Growing Areas in Maine
- Maine Employee Rights Guide
- Guía de Derechos de Empleados en Maine
- Tips for a Healthy Back for Farmworkers
- Consejos para una Espalda Saludable
To Contact Us
State Monitor Advocate:
Jorge A. Acero
45 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04330
e-mail: Jorge A. Acero
phone: (207) 623-7928
cell: 207- 486-9081
TTY: Maine relay 711