Immigrant women and girls performing essential work in agriculture, the caring economy, cleaning services, and other jobs tend to be low-paid and isolated. Many are taken advantage of due to their immigration status, lack of English proficiency, and lack of awareness about rights and resources. For example, farmworker women and girls suffer sexual harassment and assault at alarming rates. One of the first studies conducted in California in the 1980s found that 90% of farmworker women stated that sexual harassment is a major problem. More recently, 80% of farmworker women surveyed in the California Central Valley in 2010 reported that they had experienced sexual harassment at work.
The Department of Labor should prioritize investigations of reported workplace sexual assault, specifically in the agricultural context, service industry, and other settings with a high number of workers from marginalized or underserved communities; and ensure timely access to employment authorization for victims eligible for immigration relief. For more info visit https://justice4women.org/policy-priorities.