Questionable coverage by workers comp for migrant workers

According to Caitlin Fairchild, only 13 states require employers to cover seasonally agricultural workers in the same way as other workers, and 16 states do not. The remaining 21 states’ laws are apparently not clear-cut as to coverage. Farmers have tried to stay exempt from workers compensation laws in their states.
She cites two organizations as resource for more information about the laws in particular states. Farmworker Justice is working with other groups to improve workers’ access to workers’ compensation benefits. It is working with the Migrant Clinicians Network to educate clinicians about the workers’ compensation system so that more clinics are able to handle such cases.
Fairchild reports:
Specifically, only 13 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands require employers to cover seasonal agricultural workers to the same extent as all other workers. These jurisdictions are: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In an additional 13 states (including Florida and New York), only small farmers are exempt from providing coverage to their migrant and seasonal farmworkers. Moreover, employers who hire legal temporary foreign workers under the H-2A visa program are required to provide workers’ compensation insurance or equivalent benefits to their employees.
By contrast, 16 states do not require employers to provide any workers’ compensation insurance for migrant or seasonal farmworkers. These states are: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. In an additional eight states, coverage is limited to full-time workers (e.g., Maine), workers in specialty jobs (e.g., South Dakota), or those employed on large farms (e.g., Rhode Island).

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