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NGO

Friends of Farmworkers

Description

AGENCY/MISSION
To improve the living and working conditions of indigent farmworkers, mushroom workers, food processing workers, and workers from immigrant and migrant communities

VOLUNTEERS
Volunteers include: undergraduate students; law students; law graduates; attorneys; and interested members of the community. To volunteer, call (215) 733-0878, or send an email to fof@friendsfw.org

INTAKE PHONE
(215) 733-0878 or (800) 729-1607

CLIENT ELIGIBILITY
Income guidelines: Generally 125% of poverty.
Geographic guidelines: PA residents or migrant workers who have been employed in PA.

Other guidelines:
Priority in representation for migrant farmworkers, mushroom workers, and food processing workers who have employment related claims or claims related to the client’s status as a farmworker. Other farmworkers, mushroom workers, and food processing workers with employment related problems may qualify for representation. Workers from immigrant and migrant communities with significant migrant and seasonal farmworker populations who are not employed in agriculture may under certain circumstances qualify for FOF representation.

Special note:
Friends of Farmworkers has declined Legal Services Corporation funding restricting representation of undocumented workers, legislative and administrative advocacy, and class actions. Undocumented persons not eligible for Legal Services Corporation funded representation are eligible for representation by FOF. Representation may also be available for organizations whose members are eligible clients if organization does not otherwise have resources for representation.

INTAKE PROCESS
Agencies referring clients should call on behalf of the client. Clients are seen by appointment in Philadelphia, Kennett Square, Reading and other locations. Telephone and fax intake processes with cooperating agencies is possible. Seasonal outreach to farm labor housing.

AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Employment related claims of workers and claims related to a client's status as a farm worker:
minimum wage and wage payment problems
violations of workers' rights under federal and state protective statutes
unsafe or unhealthy work conditions
problems associated with substandard housing provided to groups of workers
remedying discrimination or retaliation against workers for exercising their legal rights
enforcement of state and federal laws for protection of safety in the work place and labor camp housing
establishment of eligibility rights to public benefits
discrimination in employment and housing on the basis of race, national origin, sex, disability, or familial status
providing legal assistance to income eligible worker organizations
providing community legal education to farm workers and mushroom workers about issues related to their legal rights

PROGRAMS
Direct legal services to farmworkers, mushroom workers and food processing workers in PA and to migrant farmworkers who have been employed in PA and have claims arising out of their employment in PA. Direct legal services to organizations whose members are client eligible workers and their families.
Community education on legal rights of farmworkers, mushroom workers and food processing workers. This includes outreach to farm labor camps, community groups, and to students and families in schools with students whose families do farm work.

Substantive FOF priorities:
For employment related claims of eligible workers and claims related to a client's status as a farmworker, including: minimum wage and wage payment problems; unsafe or unhealthy work conditions; substandard housing for groups of workers; employment or housing discrimination based on race, sex, national origin, disability or familial status; retaliation for exercising legal rights; establishment of eligibility rights to public benefits; and limited representation related to immigrant status.

CURRENT LITIGATION
AND ADVOCACY
Civil Right Complaint to U.S. Department of Labor against PA Department of Labor and Industry and Berks County officials concerning discrimination against Spanish speaking individuals. Go to Complaint link.
Unemployment insurance claims on behalf of farm workers.

Representation before the PA Labor Relations Board (PLRB) of individual mushroom workers and organizations of income eligible mushroom workers clients.

Advocacy on behalf of persons with limited English proficiency. Go to Friends of Farmworkers Limited English Proficiency links.

Representation of individuals and client organizations in relationship to the federal H-2A and H-2B temporary foreign worker program and the protection of other workers from adverse effects through the operation of the H-2A and H-2B systems.

COLLABORATIVE WORK
Friends of Farmworkers has particularly close ties with the Mexican mushroom worker community in Chester and Berks County and also works closely with Philadelphia's Asian community regarding the concerns of immigrant, refugee and migrant workers. Friends of Farmworkers represents significant and active income eligible worker membership organizations.

Status

Active

Address

42 S 15th St, Suite 605

City

Philadelphia

Province

Pennsylvania

Country

USA

Phone number

(215) 733-0878

Fax number

(215) 733-0876

Email

Links

Economic sectors

Agriculture and horticulture workers

Content types

Policy analysis and Documented cases of abuse

Target groups

Policymakers

Regulation domains

Legal aid

Geographical focuses

United States

Languages

English