The California Department of Industrial Relations has issued an order prohibiting Solis Farm Labor Contractor - a Galt company - from operating in the fields because of the company's alleged failure to comply with heat illness regulations.
"We have evidence to suggest that this company has failed to train its employees and this order will be in force until the company is in full compliance with California heat illness prevention regulations," Industrial Relations Director John Duncan said in a prepared statement.
Solis Farm Labor Contractor was an employer at the Farmington vineyard where Maria Isabel Vasquez Jimenez, a 17-year-old Lodi farm worker, became ill and later died on May 16 after working in high heat without water or shade two days earlier.
Solis was identified in the course of the investigation into working conditions at the vineyard where Jimenez was employed, according to a news release from the Department of Industrial Relations.
JImenez was employed by Merced Farm Labor, which the state put out of business on Thursday for the same allegations as Solis.
California law requires outdoor employers to train supervisors and employees about the symptoms of heat illness, have an emergency medical assistance plan and provide shade and water to workers, according to the Department of Industrial Relations.
In the ongoing investigation of the Jimenez case, investigators uncovered evidence that led them to suspect that Solis Farm Labor Contractor may be continuing to hire and place workers in unsafe and unhealthful working conditions, and as a result issued the order to prohibit use as a precaution, according to Industrial Relations.
In an enforcement sweep of more than 25 agricultural work sites in San Joaquin County last week, investigators found numerous violations including 10 employers without illness and injury prevention plans and 20 violations of the heat illness prevention standard, according to the news release.
Similar sweeps of outdoor workplaces are conducted daily in most California counties with special teams dispersed when temperatures rise to 100 degrees or more, or when the Governor's Office of Emergency Services State Warning Center issues a heat wave alert.
For more information, call the California Workers' information hotline at 1-866-924-9757 or visit www.dir.ca.gov.