Iowa Public Television


Minnesota Law Giving Insurance to Migrant Workers Ignored

posted on October 12, 2007

Minn. law giving insurance to migrant workers wasn't enforced Associated Press - October 8, 2007 1:44 PM ET

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) - It's been on the books for decades. But a law that requires Minnesota employers to provide health insurance for migrant workers is going unenforced.

The 1971 law requires employers with five or more migrant workers to provide them with health insurance. But no rules were written for the law and no one in government today seems to remember why it was passed in the first place.

Even the agency responsible for enforcement was unaware the law existed.

DFL Representative Carlos Mariani of St. Paul plans to create state oversight of migrant services in the next session.

An estimated 35,000 to 40,000 migrant workers travel to Minnesota each year -- mainly to harvest, process and package fruits and vegetables. Advocates say many migrants regularly work 12-hour days and suffer from stress and diabetes.

Tags: immigration insurance jobs Minnesota news reform