Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman

CourtSuperior Court of New Jersey
Citation136 N.J.Super. 242,345 A.2d 378
Decision Date26 August 1975
Parties, 1975-1976 O.S.H.D. (CCH) P 20,057 FIVE MIGRANT FARMWORKERS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. Joseph HOFFMAN, in his capacity as Commissioner of the Department of Labor& Industry, et al., Defendants.

Page 242

136 N.J.Super. 242
345 A.2d 378, 1975-1976 O.S.H.D. (CCH) P 20,057
FIVE MIGRANT FARMWORKERS, on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
Joseph HOFFMAN, in his capacity as Commissioner of the
Department of Labor& Industry, et al., Defendants.
Superior Court of New Jersey,
Law Division.
Aug. 26, 1975.

[345 A.2d 379]

Page 243

Michael S. Berger, Camden, for plaintiffs (Camden Regional Legal Services, Inc., attorney).

Miriam Daniel Guido for plaintiffs, pro hac vice.

Michael S. Boker, Deputy Atty. Gen., for defendants Hoffman and Gomes (William F. Hyland, Atty. Gen., attorney).

Jeffrey Doranz, Trenton, for U.S. Dept. of Labor as amicus curiae.

HORN, A.J.S.C.

Defendants Hoffman and Gomes, in their respective governmental capacities, move for a dismissal of this in lieu action or for summary judgment. The corporate defendant, Samuel Stern & Sons, Inc., has been dropped from the case by consent of plaintiffs.

The action, brought and permitted to proceed as a class action for 'Five Migrant Farmworkers and all others similarly situated,' alleges essentially that there are approximately 1,000 migrant farm labor camps in New Jersey which are used to house nearly 11,000 workers who come to this State for agricultural work. Before 1975 the program

Page 244

of enforcement for minimum standards of housing and sanitation have included pre-occupancy inspections as well as periodic inspections of all migrant labor camps in New Jersey.

Commencing in 1975 the State will no longer make pre-occupancy inspections of labor camps except as to those which recuit workers through the Division of Employment Services which result from the requirements of the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933. 29 U.S.C.A. § 49 Et seq. As a result, no such pre-occupancy inspections will be performed in 600 to 700 migrant labor camps in New Jersey.

It is further asserted that plaintiffs and the others similarly situate suffer and will in the future suffer from the failure to make such inspections as mandated by the provisions of the Seasonal Farm Labor Act, N.J.S.A. 34:9A--1 Et seq., and particularly 34:9A--20, which is partially quoted hereinafter.

Although they do not dispute the material allegations of fact, defendants and Amicus curiae disagree with plaintiffs' thesis with respect to the present obligation on the part of the State to make pre-occupancy inspections. The basis for the disagreement rests on the issue of pre-emption by [345 A.2d 380] the Federal Government of the obligation, right and duty for such pre-occupancy inspections, I.e., are the terms of N.J.S.A. 34:9A--20 superseded and rendered nugatory by the provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSHA), 29 U.S.C.A. § 651 Et seq.?

The problem did not arise until April 1, 1975 because, pursuant to OSHA, the U.S. Secretary of Labor (Secretary) had approved a plan submitted by New Jersey, 29 U.S.C.A. § 672(g), in 1972, whereby the Federal Government provided 50% Of the funds for administration and enforcement of the New Jersey program, including pre-occupancy as well as post-occupancy inspections of camps. Upon the failure of the State Legislature to enact required legislation to continue the plan in force, both the Secretary

Page 245

and defendant Hoffman, as the Commissioner of Labor and Industry, mutually agreed that the plan must become ineffective, leaving the parties to carry out only the obligations imposed otherwise. Consequently, the Commissioner withdrew regulations pertaining to pre-occupancy inspections.

Plaintiffs submit that N.J.S.A. 34:9A--20 still requires the State to make such preoccupancy inspections. This statute partially reads as follows:

Each person employing any person to work in or at camps * * * shall apply, not later than 60 days prior to the opening of any such camp * * * to the bureau (of migrant labor) for a certificate of compliance of such camp With the requirements of this act. * * * The commissioner (of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
10 practice notes
  • New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce v. Hughey, Civ. A. No. 84-3255
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • January 3, 1985
    ...may arguably be more stringent or where OSHA has not explicitly addressed a provision. See, e.g., Five Migrant Farm Workers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 246, 345 A.2d 378 (Law Div.1975); Stanislawski v. Industrial Comm., 99 Ill.2d 36, 75 Ill. Dec. 405, 457 N.E.2d 399 (1983); Columbus Coa......
  • Berardi v. Getty Refining & Marketing Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • December 5, 1980
    ...for breach of those duties. Defendant-owner adverts to the New Jersey Superior Court decision in Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 345 A.2d 378 in support of his contention that Sections 240 and 241 have been preempted by OSHA. Defendant's reliance is misplaced. In Ho......
  • Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association, No. 90-1676
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 18, 1992
    ...828 (CA6 1986), appeal dism'd and cert. denied, 484 U.S. 801, 108 S.Ct. 44, 98 L.Ed.2d 9 (1987); Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 247-248, 345 A.2d 378, 381 (1975); Columbus Coated Fabrics v. Industrial Comm'n of Ohio, 1 OSHC 1361, 1362 (SD Ohio 1973); cf. Florida Ci......
  • Vazquez v. Ferre, Civ. No. 2023-72.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • November 19, 1975
    ...the clearance order into the interstate clearance system. 20 C.F.R. § 602.9 (1975). See generally, Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 345 A.2d 378 (Law Div.1975). Moreover, the United States Employment Service is required to withhold the interstate recruitment services......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
10 cases
  • New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce v. Hughey, Civ. A. No. 84-3255
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • January 3, 1985
    ...may arguably be more stringent or where OSHA has not explicitly addressed a provision. See, e.g., Five Migrant Farm Workers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 246, 345 A.2d 378 (Law Div.1975); Stanislawski v. Industrial Comm., 99 Ill.2d 36, 75 Ill. Dec. 405, 457 N.E.2d 399 (1983); Columbus Coa......
  • Berardi v. Getty Refining & Marketing Co.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court (New York)
    • December 5, 1980
    ...for breach of those duties. Defendant-owner adverts to the New Jersey Superior Court decision in Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 345 A.2d 378 in support of his contention that Sections 240 and 241 have been preempted by OSHA. Defendant's reliance is misplaced. In Ho......
  • Gade v. National Solid Wastes Management Association, No. 90-1676
    • United States
    • United States Supreme Court
    • June 18, 1992
    ...828 (CA6 1986), appeal dism'd and cert. denied, 484 U.S. 801, 108 S.Ct. 44, 98 L.Ed.2d 9 (1987); Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 247-248, 345 A.2d 378, 381 (1975); Columbus Coated Fabrics v. Industrial Comm'n of Ohio, 1 OSHC 1361, 1362 (SD Ohio 1973); cf. Florida Ci......
  • Vazquez v. Ferre, Civ. No. 2023-72.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. United States District Courts. 3th Circuit. District of New Jersey
    • November 19, 1975
    ...the clearance order into the interstate clearance system. 20 C.F.R. § 602.9 (1975). See generally, Five Migrant Farmworkers v. Hoffman, 136 N.J.Super. 242, 345 A.2d 378 (Law Div.1975). Moreover, the United States Employment Service is required to withhold the interstate recruitment services......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT