Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc.

aka Farmworker Justice   |   Washington, DC   |  www.farmworkerjustice.org

Mission

Farmworker Justice's mission is to empower farmworkers to improve their wages, working conditions, immigration status, occupational safety, health status, and access to justice. Our activities include advocacy, litigation, education and training, coalition building, research and publications, media outreach, corporate responsibility initiatives and support for labor union organizing.

Ruling year info

1981

President

Mr. Bruce Goldstein

Main address

1126 16th Street, N.W. Suite LL-101

Washington, DC 20036 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

52-1196708

NTEE code info

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

Community Health Systems (E21)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (J01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Farmworkers, people who labor on farms and ranches, experience poor wages and working conditions, hazardous jobs, poor health and access to health care, and other obstacles to their health and well-being. Laws that protect most workers discriminate against farmworkers, depriving them of protections regarding wages, benefits, occupational safety, and other abuses. Laws that do apply are not adequately enforced. Immigration policy has subjected farmworkers and their family members to great harm. A majority of farmworkers are undocumented and therefore are very vulnerable in the workplaces and live in fear of detection and deportation. An increasing number are guestworkers, on temporary work permits, subjected to unequal treatment without a path to immigration status and citizenship. The broken immigration system needs reform. The vibrant organizations that are organizing farmworkers have limited resources and need assistance.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Immigration and Labor Policy; Occupational Safety; Health Promotion

Our organization serves farmworkers -- people who labor on farms and ranches and their family members -- to help them improve immigration policy, wages and working conditions, occupational and environmental safety, and health and access to health care. Our programs include:

Helping farmworkers improve immigration policy and status. The lack of legal immigration status for many farmworkers makes them extremely vulnerable to many abuses and labor violations. FJ advocates for positive legislation on immigration to grant an opportunity for legal immigration status for undocumented farmworkers and their family members. We help farmworker organizations defend against harmful policies regarding immigration. We work to reduce abuses under the agricultural guestworker program, the H-2A temporary foreign agricultural worker program.

Improving farmworker wages and working conditions. For many years, agricultural workers have lived below the poverty line, often suffering theft of wages, and other labor abuses. Our advocacy and litigation efforts work to improve labor policies and enforce labor laws, especially the reform of the farm labor contracting system.

Our corporate social responsibility initiatives involve cooperation with progressive agricultural employers to offer farmworkers a voice at work and good working conditions. We also collaborate closely with farm labor unions seeking to improve labor standards through collective bargaining.

Strengthening the occupational safety and health of farmworkers. Farmworkers are exposed unnecessarily to many health and safety risks when working in fields and orchards. FJ works to win greater protections for farmworkers from preventable work-related deaths, injuries and illnesses. We have a long history of advancing safety standards regarding pesticides. We also educate farmworkers about how to improve occupational safety.

Promoting the health of farmworkers and their families. FJ has pioneered several programs to build the capacity of local organizations to provide farmworkers with information about health and safety issues. Our prevention project has trained hundreds of farmworkers to be "promotores de salud” (lay health promoters), who in turn, have educated tens of thousands of colleagues regarding prevention of illness and injury, access to health care and their rights at work.

Farmworker Justice (FJ) is a coalition-builder, collaborating with hundreds of organizations in almost every state to  empower farmworkers to improve their health, labor rights, immigration status, and occupational safety.
 
Our litigation addresses systemic abuses by employers who violate labor laws and federal government agencies that violate their obligations.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Migrant workers

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Farmworker Justice's overall goal is to improve the working and living conditions of farmworkers. The U.S. fruit and vegetable industry relies on seasonal workers to cultivate and harvest our crops. Farmworkers work in virtually every state of the country. Low wages, inadequate health care, decrepit housing, dangerous working conditions, and unfair labor practices characterize much of farm work. The average farmworker earns about $15,000 to $17,500 per year, and few workers receive any fringe benefits, such as paid sick leave or health care. The large majority of farmworkers are immigrants and are Latino. Many farmworkers are recently-arrived immigrants who enter the US hoping to begin a better life for themselves and their families. Among our nation's roughly 2.5 million farmworkers, over half are believed to be unauthorized immigrants. These undocumented workers, toiling under physically grueling and often hazardous working conditions, live in fear that they will be deported, and have few resources to help them fight for justice.

Farmworkers, often mistreated, deserve respect for the vital role they play in helping produce the food we eat. Consumers concerned about eating healthy and safe foods, should also support foods produced under fair working conditions. Over the next several years our goals include:

• Pass meaningful immigration reform that grants farmworkers and their families the opportunity to become citizens and prevent harmful guestworker legislation.

• Secure labor rights for farmworkers by reducing systemic abuses associated with farm labor contracting and enhance farmworkers' access to the justice system.

• Educate the public on the valuable contributions of farmworkers, raising their profile and building support through effective communications strategies.

• Protect the occupational health and safety of farmworkers and their families by improving occupational safety standards and providing culturally appropriate information to reduce illness and injury in the fields.

• Secure health equality for farmworkers and their families by reducing health disparities and promoting healthy, sustainable communities.

To achieve its goals, Farmworker Justice's core strategies are advocacy, education, capacity-building, litigation, and communications.

Advocate for positive policy changes and against harmful proposals on issues of concern to farmworkers and facilitate advocacy efforts by farmworker organizations.
• Educate Members of Congress to prevent enactment of harmful guestworker programs and promote passage of progressive immigration legislation, and assist farmworker organizations in voicing their concerns to Congress.
• Advocate at the EPA and OSHA to include farmworkers in safety standards that currently exclude them, and strengthen safety regulations and their enforcement, especially on pesticides.
• Advocate in the Department of Labor, supported by research and policy analysis, for stronger enforcement of wage-hour laws and allocation of enforcement resources to high-priority abuses.

Strengthen coalitions to increase our impact and advance farmworkers' interests by building our relationships with labor, religious, environmental, immigrant, health, labor, civil rights, and Latino communities.
• Help advance the Equitable Food Initiative, a corporate social responsibility project, by working with Oxfam America, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, National Farm Worker Ministry, Pesticide Action Network North America, United Farm Workers, plus Costco, Bon Appetit Management Company, and others.
• Participate in the International Labor Rights Working Group, addressing abuses taking place during international labor recruitment.
• Educate the public and our allies by providing information that motivates people to take action.
• Use photographs and stories of farmworkers to educate the public about the lives of farmworkers and policy changes needed
• Distribute reports and videos on the effects of pesticides on farmworkers and their families to raise public awareness and improve safety regulations.
• Represent farmworker interests in national meetings and forums; educate advocates at conferences and through webinars
• Shape public opinion through media coverage.

Build the capacity of community-based groups to improve health and access to health care through training community health workers ("promotores de salud").

Litigate by bringing high-impact lawsuits on priority issues for farmworkers; provide training opportunities and assistance to legal professionals.
• Bring targeted lawsuits, in conjunction with legal services groups and private law firms, to expose and remedy systemic abuses and to deter exploitation of farmworkers by employers and remedy government agencies' violations of law
• Engage, support, and train other legal advocates through bi-annual National Farmworker Law Conference, list serve, presentations, and workshops

Farmworker Justice is a highly effective national advocacy, litigation and education organization serving farmworkers and their organizations. Organizations throughout the country rely on our expertise on health, occupational safety, immigration policy, and labor rights. We provide tools to help farmworkers and advocates work toward developing better policies, enforcing labor protections, and understanding ways to protect against illness and injury.

Our advocacy work has helped pass major legislation and win important regulations on farmworker issues: the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act of 1983, the main federal employment law for farmworkers; the OSHA Field Sanitation Standard in 1987; the EPA Worker Protection Standards in 1992 and 2015; and, an agricultural legalization program as part of the Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986, resulting in legal status for 1.1 million undocumented farmworkers. Our advocacy inside federal agencies has helped improve implementation and enforcement of labor protections and programs. Our communications help shape public opinion. Our assistance to community-based groups builds their capacity to improve farmworkers' lives and communities.

Farmworker Justice is led by a well-respected Board of Directors that includes representatives from three major farm labor unions as well as longstanding farmworker champions from leading farmworker service agencies. The organization is headed by Bruce Goldstein, a longtime public interest labor and civil rights lawyer who has worked on farmworker issues at the national level for 30 years. He leads a talented, dedicated staff, including attorneys, health advocates, and communications and development professionals, a fellowship position, administrative staff, and various interns throughout the year.

The value of our high-impact work stems in large part from our collaborations with a broad array of organizations and individuals:
• Farm labor and other unions: the United Farm Workers, Farm Labor Organizing Committee, and PCUN (Oregon's farmworker union), the AFL-CIO, UFCW, and SEIU.
• We are on the Board of Directors of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a major Latino coalition that issues public policy recommendations.
• Environmental organizations: Pesticide Action Network North America, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Earthjustice.
• Nonprofit advocacy groups: NCLR, MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Oxfam America, California Rural Legal Assistance, National Farm Worker Ministry, the National Employment Law Project and, .
• Community-based organizations, public health centers, and legal services organizations throughout the country
• Academics, policy analysts and think tanks.

Our collaborative work on immigration policy – including policy analysis, media work, coalition building, and advocacy - helped prevent passage of terrible guestworker legislation, and led to the 2013 Senate compromise on immigration policy. We provided valuable assistance to the United Farm Workers in negotiating the agricultural stakeholder agreement on immigration policy that was included in the comprehensive immigration reform in the U.S. Senate. At this time, we still do not have immigration reform to legalize the undocumented farmworkers. We have helped farmworker organizations understand the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and other immigration programs.

Our monitoring, policy analysis, media work and advocacy contributed to improvements in the quality and quantity of the enforcement of farmworkers' labor rights by the Obama Administration. The use of the "joint employer" concept to address farm labor contracting abuses has been a priority for FJ and for the Wage and Hour Administrator, David Weil, under the Obama Administration.

Our advocacy for stronger health and safety protections at the EPA and OSHA achieved important results. In late 2015 the EPA issued a new Worker Protection Standard on pesticides that takes effect in 2017, and in late 2016 issued a new safety standard for certified pesticide applicators and their employees. OSHA engaged in education and training on reducing heat stress (but did not strengthen its regulation).

Our health promotion work with community-based groups stresses the empowerment of the farmworkers to become trainers in their own community, promotores de salud, rather than just receive information passively. Using this approach, we have enabled local groups to train over farmworkers to prevent children's exposure to environmental dangers and workers on occupational safety, workplace rights, prevention of illness and injury and access to health care. Through this local work, we learn about farmworkers and their needs. The demand for our assistance exceeds our resources.

The Equitable Food Initiative, a corporate social responsibility project which Farmworker Justice helped found, holds great promise for empowering hundreds of thousands of farmworkers to improve their wages and working conditions.

Through litigation, we are helping to remedy and deter systemic labor abuses. FJ's ability to represent undocumented immigrants and bring class actions law suits is critical, because most legal aid programs are prohibited from doing so and many private attorneys cannot or will not take on these cases. Regrettably, violations of farmworkers' rights are rampant and many more lawsuits should be filed.


Through advocacy, public education, litigation and coalition building, Farmworker Justice works to improve the health, safety, immigration status, wages and working conditions of farmworkers, their families and their communities.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve farmworkers and their family members. Farmworkers are people who labor on farms and ranches. There are about 2.4 million farmworkers in the United States not including their family members and not including additional farmworkers hired seasonally on temporary foreign worker visas. More than three-fourths of farmworkers are immigrants, mostly but not exclusively from Mexico; more than three-fourths are Latino and an additional number are people of color from diverse nations. About 30% of farmworkers are women.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Feedback from our partners and others in the farmworker community have shaped our policy agenda on our priority issues, including immigration, labor rights, occupational safety and health. Our work regarding COVID-19 and related job safety and health access issues has been in response to the experiences and requests of farmworkers and their organizations. Our programs with community-based organizations have been shaped by feedback from farmworkers, especially in our train-the-trainer programs aimed at preventing and responding to the pandemic. Our litigation is aimed at high-priority issues identified by the farmworker community. We engage in training of several constituencies, including legal services personnel and health professionals, whose views determine our approach and content.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners, Policymakers, government officials.,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Farmworker Justice has always sought feedback from the people we serve and has provided farmworkers and their advocates with tools that empower them to shape policy, build their organizations, develop community resources and make other progress in their living and working conditions. Our mission is to empower the people we serve.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Farmworker Justice Fund, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 6/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Natalie Camacho Mendoza

Attorney at Law

Term: 2017 - 2021

Mario Martinez

General Counsel United Farm Workers

Marco Lizarraga

CEO, La Cooperativa Campesina de California

Lupe Martinez

CEO, UMOS, Wisconsin

Natalie Camacho Mendoza

Attorney, Boise, Idaho

Shannon Lederer

AFL-CIO Policy Department

Satya Velasquez Curry

Farm Labor Organizing Committee, AFL-CIO

Christine Webber

Partner, Cohen Millstein

Reyna Lopez

Executive Director, PCUN (Oregon's farmworker union)

Rosemary Sokas

Georgetown U. Schools of Nursing and Medicine

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 03/30/2021

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/30/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.