Friday, August 29, 2014

Be aware of farm workers’ rights

Farmers ought to be aware of their workers’ rights guaranteed under federal law, says the Ontario Pork Industry Council.

It has posted information on its website alerting farmers that regardless of how small or large the farm, workers rights include:

- The right to refuse unsafe work;

- The right to know about workplace hazards, and

- The right to participate in workplace health and safety.

“None of these exist independently, and the three function together to guarantee and provide the fourth, generally unwritten right, specifically, the right to a safe workplace,” says the Ontario Pork Industry Council.

“Employers must recognize and make certain that employees are aware of these rights, and feel comfortable in exercising them.
“The result is a generally safer workplace, combined with proactive and empowered workers.

“Actions taken by employers which restrict or violate the three rights of workers are a violation of the legislation, and are subject to a number of penalties for both the individual actors as well as their corporate management,” the council cautions.

“Employers are well advised to be mindful of the rights of their employees and avoid actions which restrict or deny these.”

There is additional information on the OPIC website.