Centro de los Derechos del Migrante (www.cdmigrante.org) is a 501c3 nonprofit that advocates for workers that come to work in the U.S. with a temporary work visa. Many of these workers come season after season. The U.S. DOL needs to ensure that these employers and their employees have a plan for the prevention, detection and treatment of COVID-19 in their workplaces. Ideas for implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are as follows:
1.) Do not exclude worksites from coverage under the FFCRA. We ask for a narrow interpretation of the potential small business exemption in the FFCRA because this could leave out many migrant workers without access to FFCRA coverage.
2.) Outreach and Education. Provide materials, information, a hotline, and assistance in multiple languages. The majority of migrant workers we represent do not know English. DOL needs to ensure that all workers and their employers have access to the information in multiple languages. Print publications are ideal, but social media campaigns are even better in this point in time. CDM has a virtual platform where it connects with workers - www.Contratados.org. We can help share this vita information to migrant workers.
3.) Focused effort in Rural Communities. Accessing medical and other essential services is a challenge for migrant workers that depend on their employers to access such services. DOL needs to look at these pockets closely and provide more resources to employers and employees in these settings. These resources could be holding virtual meetings with stakeholders in these settings.
4.) Fair Enforcement. In order to stop the spread of COVID-19, there needs to be enforcement of the FFCRA. DOL needs to provide workers and advocates with a hotline or rapid complaint process wherein violations of the FFCRA can be filed. DOL needs to investigate these complaints promptly and take swift action. We are talking about the health of workers, their families, and the entire workforce at their worksite.