Jul 2, 2018Washington state inspectors look at H-2A
The Washington Potato Commission (WPC) is informing growers that, whether inspections are authorized under statute or stemming from interpretations of other agreements, safety inspectors do have the right to speak with farm employees.
This comes after the Washington Farm Bureau was informed that inspectors with the Washington Division of Occupational Safety and Health have moved into the H-2A arena.
The WPC said it wants employees and employers to know that they have rights during this critical business period.
Further, the WPC advised that workers have multiple specific rights and options when speaking with inspectors.
- Workers should be aware that they are not required to speak with the inspectors.
- It is their right to determine who they speak to and when.
- Even after agreeing to speak with the inspector, a worker can refuse to answer any question and end the interview at any time they choose.
- In addition, workers can have a chaperone, friend, representative or translator of their choosing present while they speak with inspectors.
- Inspectors may make appointments outside the work day to speak with employees.
- Employers should make sure the inspectors know that they will facilitate non-work time for the inspectors to speak with employees in the near future.
- If the inspectors refuse to accommodate reasonable requests, employers have the right to request that they obtain a subpoena to speak with workers and a warrant to enter.