Dairy Worker Safety Initiative

California is the largest dairy state in the country. More than 250,000 workers toil in over 2,300 dairies across the State, tending to more than 1.7 million dairy cows. A majority of these dairies and dairy workers are located in the Central Valley counties of Tulare, Kern, Fresno, Kings, Madera and Merced, and large dairies are increasingly re-locating to the Central Valley.

Many dairy workers complain of having to work 12 to 16 hours a day for six or seven days a week without being paid overtime. Some dairy workers' salaries often pay them less per hour than the mandated minimum hourly wage rate. Dairy workers typically do not receive required rest and meal periods, and frequently have to provide their own tools and equipment. Dairy workers are a particularly vulnerable population because they are isolated on the dairies, oftentimes living in substandard dairy-provided housing.

To address these concerns, CRLA has created the Dairy Worker Safety Initiative to advocate for California's dairy workers. CRLA community workers and attorneys are coordinating their efforts across the state to strategically deliver multi-faceted services to dairy workers who seek our services, including such services as: community education regarding employment rights; advice and referral; administrative representation with the State Labor Commissioner; and affirmative litigation.

For more information, please contact Director of Litigation, Advocacy and Training, Mike Meuter, at mmeuter@crla.org.

The Dairy Worker Safety Initiative is funded in part by a grant from The California Wellness Foundation(TCWF). Created in 1992 as an independent, private foundation, TCWF's mission is to improve the health of the people of California by making grants for health promotion, wellness education and disease prevention.


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