DBPR Sweep Yields 53 Violations
May 13, 2008
Central/South Florida—The Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Farm Labor Enforcement Unit swept a number of areas through Hendry, Glades, Highlands, Desoto, Hardee and Polk counties last week in a proactive effort to ensure compliance by farm labor contractors. The week-long sweep resulted in 53 violations. The sweep was designed to ensure compliance with the Florida farm labor laws, educate employees and employers on those laws, and take enforcement action when violations were discovered.
“We are committed to continuing proactive efforts to help protect farm workers from harmful work situations,” said Interim Secretary Chuck Drago.
Eight two-person teams of farm labor investigators visited the groves and farms in five counties and conducted compliance inspections. Department personnel conducted 289 inspections and observed 53 violations. Violations included: failure to post the terms and conditions of employment at the worksite, field sanitation violations and failure to provide worker’s compensation coverage and passenger vehicle violations.
The sweep focused primarily on watermelon farms in Hendry, Glades and Collier counties and citrus farms in Highlands, Desoto, Hardee and Polk counties. During the course of the three-day sweep, investigators were able to establish high visibility, presence and compliance in the area to ensure the benefits and protection of Florida’s farm labor laws. Investigators also determined that the inspections directly affected 4,212 farm workers.
The Department has the authority to assess fines of up to $2,500 for each major farm labor violation. Fine amounts are dependent upon the severity of the violation.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.