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TALKING POINTS

KENNEDY AND BERMAN LEGISLATION TO LEGALIZE FARM WORKERS  

Legalization
The Kennedy-Berman bills are fair and reasonable and offer legalization opportunities to 500,000 undocumented farm workers. A farm worker's immediate family also may benefit and allowed to adjust after the farm worker completes the requirements .

  • Eligibility requirements for temporary adjustment are 90 days of agricultural work in the 18-month period beginning on January 1 2000.
  • Farm workers would be able to apply for permanent residency after completing 90 days of agricultural work in three out of the next four years.
  • Farm workers would receive credit for any days lost because of on-the-job injuries.
  • Worker Protections
    Farm workers perform a special function in the production of food The Kennedy-Berman bills honor their contributions to our country by extending job protections.

  • Allows for only "just cause" terminations for those participating.
  • Gives H-2A foreign workers protections other farm workers have under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA).
  • Amends AWPA to ceate a federal right to organize for all farm workers based on Section 7 of the NLRA.
  • Continue to pay H-2A foreign workers the "average" wage in a state - often more than $7 an hour.
  • Ban imported H-2A foreign workers from being used as strikebreakers.
  • Employers must provide assurance of Federal, State, and local labor law compliance.

    Eligibility requirements for temporary adjustment are 90 days of agricultural work in the 18-month period beginning on January 1 2000.

  •  Farm workers would be able to apply for permanent residency after completing 90 days of agricultural work in three out of the next four years.
  • Farm workers would receive credit for any days lost because of on-the-job injuries.

     Grower Benefits
    In the spirit of cooperation, the Kennedy-Berman bill offer incentives and benefits that assure that agriculture has a legal workforce, efforts to increase worker productivity and a more streeamlined process for contracting H-2A foreign workers. 

  • Adjusts the status of 500,000 farm workers working in the United States without emploement authorization.
  • Removes the incentive to discriminate against U.S. Workers by requiring the employers of H-2A workers to pay the equivalent of FICA and FUTA taxes to a fund to improve labor management practices in agriculture.
  • A streamlined application process for growers with collective bargaining agreements.
  • Employers with collective baragaining agreements are exempt from increased H-2A user fees.
  • Growers would be allowed tio provide a housing allowance in lieu of free housing provided that the state's governor has certified that housing for migrant workers is available in the area of intended employement.

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