May 16, 2012

Cultivating Fear:

The Vulnerability of Immigrant Farmworkers in the US to Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

Patricia M.’s Story
Summary
Key Recommendations
To the United States Congress
To the US Department of Homeland Security
To the US Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
To All State Governments
To Local Law Enforcement Agencies
To Agricultural Employers
Methodology
Definitions
I. Background
Immigrant Farmworkers: A Vulnerable Workforce
Structure of Agricultural Work
II. Types of Workplace Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Experienced by Farmworkers
Rape and Other Forms of Coercive Sexual Conduct
Unwanted Touching, Verbal Abuse, and Exhibitionism
Long-Term Harassment
III. Unique Vulnerabilities
Sexual Relations as a Supervisor’s “Perk”
Girls and Young Women
Recent Immigrants
Single Women
Indigenous Workers
LGBT Workers
IV. The Lasting Impact of Workplace Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment
Physical Injury, Psychological Trauma, Social Ostracism, and Disruption of Family Life
Limited Access to Necessary Social Services
Termination and Other Forms of Retaliation
V. A Dysfunctional Immigration System
Limitations of the Current Immigration System
The Government’s Competing Interests: Immigration Enforcement versus Worker Protection
Limitations of U Visas
VI. Inadequate Civil Law Protections for Agricultural Workers
Exclusion of Farmworkers from Worker Protection Laws
Inadequate Enforcement of Existing Worker Protection Laws by DOL and Other Federal and State Agencies in Agricultural Workplaces
Particular Barriers for Unauthorized Immigrants
The EEOC: Positive Efforts but Limited Resources
VII. Obstacles to Enforcement of Applicable Criminal Law
Fears of Police Fueled by Police Involvement in Immigration Enforcement
Failure to Investigate Sexual Assault
VIII. Employer Failure to Address Sexual Violence and Harassment
Taking Advantage of the Dysfunctional Immigration System
Inadequate Sexual Harassment Trainings and Policies
IX. International Legal Obligations
Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment as Human Rights Violations
Human Rights Standards on Immigrant Workers,  Including Unauthorized Workers
X. Recommendations
To the United States Congress
To the US Department of Homeland Security
To the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
To the US Department of Labor (DOL) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
To All State Governments
To Local Law Enforcement Agencies
To Agricultural Employers
To Agencies Providing Services for Victims of Sexual Violence and Harassment
Acknowledgments