The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by improving their working conditions, advancing their opportunities, protecting their retirement and health benefits and generally protecting worker rights and monitoring national economic measures.
Program emphasis continues to be placed upon registration activities and achieving greater compliance by farm labor contractors with the provisions of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. In fiscal year 2004 the agency collected over $1,194,000 in back wages for approximately 3,700 agricultural workers.
Uses and Use Restrictions
The program requires the contractor, agricultural employer or agricultural association to keep certain records and to comply with appropriate Federal and State safety and health standards for transportation and housing.
It requires that contractors, agricultural employers and agricultural associations transporting migrant or seasonal farmworkers obtain motor vehicle liability insurance or, in some instances, Workers' Compensation Insurance and that they insure the migrant/seasonal agricultural worker and his/her personal property against injury or damage arising out of a transportation accident.
Contractors, agricultural employers and agricultural associations must also comply with the applicable regulations of the Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety.
The Act distinguishes between the traditional farm labor contractor and fixed-situs agricultural employers.
It provides important worker protections such as vehicle safety and insurance coverage against both personal liability and property damage while being transported in connection with their employment; housing safety and health; disclosure of wages, hours and working conditions; maintenance of necessary records and furnishing to workers itemized information concerning pay and withholding.
It further provides exemptions for both family businesses and small businesses.
Any farm labor contractor who, for any money or other valuable consideration paid or promised to be paid, recruits, solicits, hires, employs, furnishes, or transports any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker (excluding members of his/her immediate family) for agricultural employment, must register under the Act, unless qualified for specific exemptions.
Agricultural employers and agricultural associations must comply with the worker protection standards, but are not required to register.
Persons having knowledge of any practices or omissions which are not in compliance with the requirements of the Act, and persons requesting additional information concerning the Act are encouraged to write, telephone or visit the nearest State employment service office or the nearest Wage and Hour Division Office listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Information should be provided describing the type of business activity and the nature of the work performed.
The names of persons making inquiries are treated in complete confidence.
Users of the services of a farm labor contractor are prohibited from engaging the services of one who is unregistered.
Failure to comply with this Act and its regulations may result in criminal prosecution, civil injunctive action, civil money damages and assessment of civil money penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation.
Farm labor contractors and their full-time or regular employees who recruit, solicit, hire, employ, furnish or transport migrant or seasonal agricultural workers for any money or other valuable consideration paid or promised to be paid for agricultural employment, must register with the Department of Labor.
Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.
Certificate of Registration or Employee Certificate of Registration.
Aplication and Award Process
This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.
Farm labor contractors and their full-time or regular employees who recruit, solicit, hire, employ, furnish, or transport migrant or seasonal agricultural workers for any money or other valuable consideration paid or promised to be paid for agricultural employment, should contact the local office of the Employment Service or the nearest district office of the Wage and Hour Division for application forms and assistance.
Farm labor contractor certificates expire twelve months from date of issuance unless earlier suspended or revoked. Farm labor contractor employee renewal certificates expire from twelve to twenty-four months after revewal.
Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, Public Law 97-470, as amended, 96 Stat. 2583; 29 U.S.C. 1801-1872.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Applications for Farm labor contractor employee certificates of registration or farm labor contractor employee certificates of registration are usually processed within 2 to 3 weeks.
Applicants whose applications have been denied or revoked have 30 days to request a hearing on the decision to refuse to issue, refuse to renew or revoke. Persons who have been assessed civil money penalties have 30 days to request a hearing on the decision to assess.
Same procedure as making initial application. When application for renewal of a valid certificate is submitted prior to at least 30 days before the expiration date, the applicant may continue to operate under the terms of the existing certificate until a final determination is made on the renewal application.
Formula and Matching Requirements
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Post Assistance Requirements
A registered farm labor contractor is required to keep the Department of Labor informed of his/her permanent address and any change of vehicle which is operated by him/her or caused to be used to transport workers or change of housing for workers if such housing is controlled or owned by him or her.
Any employer subject to the Act is required to keep payroll records.
(Salaries and Expenses) Not Separately Identifiable. (Note: Obligations for 17.308 are included in program 17.303.)
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature
Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. 29 CFR Part 500, contains information about the Act. Fact sheet ESA-13, "Agricultural Workers-- Your Rights Under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act," is available free of charge in limited quantities.
Regional or Local Office
Persons are encouraged to communicate with the State Employment Service Office, or contact the nearest Wage and Hour Division Office listed in the telephone directory under United States Government, Labor Department Employment Standards Administration. If no listing is shown for your locality, contact the nearest district office of the Wage and Hour Division listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog under the Employment Standards Administration.
Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-0051.
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