Under the law, your employer should have the following facilities for you in the field within 1/4 mile of where you are working.
Drinking Water — you must have cool drinking water and individual disposable cups available at all times.
Toilet facilities — you must have a portable toilet, in clean condition with toilet paper, available at all times.
Handwashing — you must have handwashing facilities, with water, soap, and paper towels available at all times.
You must also be given the time to use all of these facilities — breaks to drink water and time to use the toilet and wash your hands.
The only exception is if your employer both does not provide any migrant farmworkers with housing AND has fewer than 11 workers.
These facilities are very important to your health. Especially since farmworkers frequently work in fields after pesticides and other chemicals have been applied, you should always wash your hands before eating or smoking or using the toilet to protect yourself against pesticide exposure.
It is especially critical that you drink sufficient water when you are working in the field to avoid becoming dehydrated. Heat stress is a serious, but preventable, problem affecting farmworkers which can result in death.
If your employer does not have these facilities or give you and your co-workers enough time to use them, you can make a complaint to the North Carolina Department of Labor (NCDOL). If you do not want your name revealed to your employer, NCDOL will keep your name confidential. The NCDOL investigators speak Spanish and are skilled at investigating worker complaints. They interview workers privately. They do not identify to the employer workers complain or give them information. NCDOL has the authority to make your employer comply with the law about field sanitation. Under North Carolina law, a worker who makes a complaint about migrant housing is protected against retaliation.
If you would like to make a complaint, you can call NCDOL directly at 1-800-NC-LABOR (1-800-625-2267) or the Farmworker Unit can help you to make a complaint.