In spite of intense opposition from the Washington State Potato Commission and others in the state's agriculture community, the Dept. of Labor and Industries adopted a Mandatory Medical Monitoring Rule (of field laborers) that became effective January 15, 2004.
The WSPC believes very strongly that growers should not be required to pay for this medical monitoring, since the data that the Department based its rules on is clearly outdated.
The WSPC also believes that the Department must carefully examine the data it receives from its 50-hour rule before it automatically drops the threshold to 30 hours.
Agricultural lobbying interests have developed a measure to require the Labor and Industries Department to reimburse farmers for the cost of this rule, and collect the data on the 50-hour threshold.
Jim Jesernig, on behalf of the group, is sponsoring a measure and will meet with legislators in the House to obtain more sponsors. He will also be meeting with the Senate for sponsors of a bill identical to the House measure.