House Bill 1818, otherwise known as the Agricultural Family Protection Act, has been put aside by the House Agribusiness and Agricultural Economy Committee of the N.C. General Assembly, apparently because many stakeholders in the agricultural community expressed concern over certain provisions of the bill.
Below are some of the provisions of HB 1818. The list is not comprehensive. Among other things;
• The legislation as proposed would have amended General Statue 143-466 to require records on pesticides to be provided to the state Labor Department, to health care personnel treating suspected pesticide poisoning or to employees filing a workers compensation claim.
• It would also have changed the current statute so that the law allowed complaining employees to request a workplace inspection by the Pesticide Board and for the complaining employee to be able to request his name not appear in the inspection records.
• It would have amended General Statute 95 to add additional complaints to the existing list of complaints in the current statute for which an employee is protected from retaliation.
• It would have amended GS 95 to require an operator of migrant housing to provide at least one working telephone with emergency medical care contact information; and also provide one showerhead with a separate shower for each eight migrants.
• It would have amended G.S. 143 to set new fines and punishments for those who violate certain pesticide laws. It would have excluded from the definition of pesticide applicator an agricultural commodity producer whose only employees are family members. It would also have ended a provision in the current law providing for reduced penalties for some violations by farmers who use pesticides on their own property or in trades with others in transactions that do not involve compensation.
H.B. 1818 was introduced by Rep. Dan Blue (Dem-33) and Rep. Grier Martin (Dem-34). The proposed legislation could be taken up again at a later date or some provisions could be adapted into other bills.