Don’t Leave Workers to Die Under the Hot California Sun

Target: California governor Jerry Brown

Goal: Require agricultural employers to provide farmworkers with adequate access to drinking water and shade during long outdoor shifts

As temperatures across the globe spike into record highs, no one feels the heat more than those who work long hours outdoors. Laborers who harvest crops all summer must now do so under a blisteringly hot sun–and some of them don’t make it through to autumn. California farmworkers have been dropping dead from work-related heat illnesses after being forced to work outside for hours without access to water, shade, or rest. Tell Governor Jerry Brown to pass a new state bill that would require farms to provide safe working conditions for their employees throughout the hot summer months.

At least 16 farmworkers have died since 2005 after facing prolonged sun exposure and dehydration during work hours. One such worker, 17-year-old Maria Isabel Jiminez, collapsed after pruning a vineyard for nine hours straight without water or shade. Her employer, a farm labor contractor, never called 911 and only brought her to a hospital hours afterwards, where she was recorded to have a body temperature of 108.4 degrees. She died two days later.

The Humane Treatment for Farm Workers Act (AB 2676) would make it a crime for any employer to deny their workers water or sun protection. Currently, animals in California are treated to such protections, but human workers can still legally be deprived of basic sustenance and shelter while on the job. Cases like Maria’s make it all too obvious that worker neglect can be deadly as summer temperatures rise. Sign the petition urging Governor Brown to protect farmworkers from needless suffering and untimely death by holding farm labor contractors responsible for their working conditions.


Dear Governor Jerry Brown,

As California summers continue to get hotter, it becomes all the more important that outdoor workers are kept healthy and safe while on the job. At least 16 California farmworkers have died from heat-related illnesses since 2005. If employers are not legally responsible for the wellbeing of their workers, that number will only grow.

California relies on farm labor for American-grown food like tomatoes, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, lettuce, and more. And while California law protects animals from being deprived of water and shelter, no such legislation safeguards human workers against neglect. Agricultural laborers currently face nine-hour shifts under the blistering hot sun without access to water or shade. Such working conditions are deplorable and should be illegal in the state of California.

I ask that you require all employers to provide farmworkers with plenty of water and access to shady resting places. Sign the Humane Treatment for Farm Workers Act (AB 2676) into law and help keep California’s workers healthy for summers to come.


[Your Name Here]

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