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Farm Labor Contractor Registration Under the MSPA

Farmer

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) is a federal law that governs health and safety considerations for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The MSPA covers a wide range of key issues for employers of migrant and seasonal contractors, including but not limited to housing, transportation, safety, employment, compensation and payroll.

Farm Labor Contracting Activities

Outside of certain exceptions, the MSPA concerns all people, businesses and other entities engaged in “farm labor contracting activities.” The term farm labor contracting activity applies to any person who or entity that:

  • Recruits migrant or seasonal agricultural workers;
  • Solicits migrant or seasonal agricultural workers;
  • Hires migrant or seasonal agricultural workers;
  • Employs migrant or seasonal agricultural workers;
  • Furnishes migrant or seasonal agricultural workers; or
  • Transports migrant or seasonal agricultural workers.

Migrant Workers

The MSPA employs a specific definition for the term “migrant worker.” These migrant laborers perform seasonal or temporary work of an agricultural nature. But migrants workers are too far from home to return to their primary residence each night. As a result, migrant workers have temporary housing for the duration of their work assignment.

Seasonal Agricultural Workers

The MSPA also employs a specific definition for the term “seasonal agricultural worker.” These laborers perform seasonal or temporary work of an agricultural nature. But unlike migrants workers, seasonal agricultural workers live close enough to return to their primary residence each night. That is the key difference between migrant workers and seasonal agricultural workers.

Application and Registration Process

Before a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker can perform farm labor contracting activities, they must submit an application to the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Officially referred to as Form WH-530, this application is required for almost anyone involved in farm labor contracting activities.

In certain cases, the Wage and Hour Division may ask for additional documentation to supplement Form WH-530. This is most common when dealing with housing or transportation, as there are additional requirements in place. For example, the Wage and Hour Division may ask the applicant to provide their:

  • Fingerprint Card (FD-258);
  • Alien Registration Card (Form I-551);
  • Doctor’s Certificate (WH-515);
  • Vehicle Mechanical Inspection Report (WH-514/WH-514a);
  • Valid Driver’s License;
  • Proof of Automotive Insurance;
  • Workers’ Compensation Information;
  • Housing Certificate of Occupancy; or
  • Insurance Cancellation Agreement.

The Wage and Hour Division reviews each Form WH-530. If the applicant meets all requirements, the Wage and Hour Division will issue a Farm Labor Contractor (FLC) or a Farm Labor Contractor Employee (FLCE) Certificate of Registration. At that point, the applicant may begin to conduct farm labor contracting activities.

Let Us Help You Today

If you are engaged in farm labor contracting activities or other aspects of the MSPA, it can be incredibly helpful to retain an accomplished labor and employment attorney. The attorneys at Penichet Law in Miami, Florida, demonstrated experience handling disputes under the MSPA, including farm labor contracting matters. If you need legal help, contact us today for a consultation.

Resource:

dol.gov/whd/mspa/