Last week, California Attorney General (AG) Xavier Becerra announced he is undertaking an “examination of agricultural workplaces to ensure that adequate measures are being undertaken to protect the health and safety of agricultural workers” amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Some agricultural employers received
from the AG’s office reminding growers of their obligation to establish and implement an injury and illness prevention program that addresses all worksite hazards, including infectious disease. These letters do not list a specific complaint or an alleged violation.
Instead, the letters pose a series of questions requesting detailed information about the workplace and COVID-19 protections for employees. The list of information requested is nearly four-pages, with a response requested by June 29.
If you receive a letter from the office of the AG, please notify CAWG.
CAWG is working closely with other ag groups to develop a model written response to the AG's office for your consideration. The draft response we are preparing for your use will be fully vetted by legal counsel. Keep in mind that if you receive a letter, you may wish to consult with your own legal counsel before responding, as we are unaware of any law or regulation requiring you to respond to the AG's request for information.
Last week, CAWG also received a
from the AG's office, as did several other agricultural organizations. The letter asked CAWG to undertake efforts to communicate to agricultural employers on guidance and other information from various governmental agencies to protect the agricultural workforce.
CAWG’s outreach efforts have been occurring since the pandemic hit. CAWG conducts webinars, provides e-alerts with updated information and maintains a COVID-19
. We are confident California winegrape growers are undertaking appropriate measures to comply with federal, state, and local guidance to safeguard employees during this pandemic.
Please contact CAWG if you have any questions or need further assistance.