• Information Date:
  • Agreement Agency:
    Employment Standards Administration (ESA)

Agreement between OSHA and ESA
for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Housing Inspections

  1. Purpose

    To secure the highest level of compliance with the safety and health housing standards requirements of the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act; Regulation 29 CFR Part 40, Farm Labor Contractor Registration; the Occupational Safety and Health Act; and the applicable OSHA regulation issued pursuant thereto.

  2. Policies

    1. There will be the fullest possible cooperation and coordination between ESA and OSHA at all levels in developing and carrying out an effective and continuing safety and health program for seasonal and migrant farmworkers with respect to their housing. The Regional Administrators for ESA and OSHA will develop procedures designed to implement these policies in their respective regions.

    2. For enforcement purposes, OSHA and ESA will accept compliance with Department of Labor standards covering seasonal farmworker housing in effect at the time of this agreement or any such standards which may become effective at any subsequent date in the future.

    3. Where ESA lacks jurisdiction because the farm labor contractor neither owns nor controls the housing, ESA will refer violations of the housing standards to OSHA or to the appropriate State agency in States with approved occupational safety and health plans. OSHA and ESA Regional Administrators shall establish a continuing working relationship with approved plan State agencies in order to facilitate violation referrals.

    4. OSHA will respond to referrals from ESA concerning housing safety and health violations and conduct inspections based upon such referrals in a timely manner, attempting to do so before the workers depart the premises. OSHA will encourage States with approved plans to do likewise. ESA will advise OSHA of the anticipated departure date of migrants at the time of referral of the complaint.

    5. When FLCRA applies, ESA's Wage and Hour Division will conduct housing inspections to completion and, when violations are found, obtain compliance, assess civil money penalties and/or recommend litigation as appropriate. OSHA will undertake a program of general schedule inspections and will take appropriate enforcement action when violations are found. OSHA will insure that States with plans approved by OSHA will maintain a program of inspections which is at least as effective as the Federal Program.

    6. When expert witnesses are needed in connection with administrative hearings or court actions on housing safety and health violations under the FLCRA, OSHA will provide them.

    7. OSHA will cooperate with ESA in developing and conducting a training program for Wage Hour Compliance Officers in making housing inspections. ESA will cooperate with OSHA in developing and providing training on the housing requirements under the FLCRA.

    8. ESA and OSHA agree to exchange information relating to complaints, inspections, violations discovered, imposition of civil money penalties or other legal action to enforce migrant farmworker housing standards; location and period of use of migrant farm labor camps; and all other information necessary to insure coordinated enforcement of migrant and seasonal farmworker housing standards and to avoid duplication of inspection and enforcement activities. Further, OSHA will encourage States with approved plans to exchange such information with ESA.

    9. OSHA subscribes to the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding between ETA and ESA signed March 1975, relating to stranded migrants, and agrees to abide by the procedures outlined in that agreement for referring such situations to ETA and ESA. OSHA Regional Administrators will notify approved plan States of the Memorandum of Understanding and request their cooperation in implementing its procedures.

    10. Each Agency will publish this agreement for implementation by its field personnel.

    11. The parties in carrying out this agreement shall follow existing delegations of authority from the Secretary of Labor, the pertinent laws, regulations, interpretations and guidelines issued thereunder.

      DATE: APRIL 3, 1978

      DATE: APRIL 19, 1978