Farm Labor Contractor Registration

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department of Labor , Employment Standards Administration
CFDA #: 17.308

Purpose of this program:

To provide protection in the areas of wages, housing and transportation for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

Possible 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 obtain motor vehicle liability insurance or, in some instances, Workers' Compensation Insurance and that they insure the migrant 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 Additional Contact Information - FMR Help. 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.

Who is eligible to apply...

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.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Certificate of Registration or Employee Certificate of Registration.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

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.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

Not applicable.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Farm labor contractor renewal certificates expire on the last day of the birth month of the farm labor contractor, unless revoked. Farm labor contractor employee renewal certificates also expire on the last day of the birth month of the farm labor contractor.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

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.

Preapplication Coordination

None. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


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.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


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.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...

Advisory Services and Counseling

Programs which provide Federal specialists to consult, advise, or counsel communities or individuals to include conferences, workshops, or personal contacts. This may involve the use of published information, but only in a secondary capacity.

Investigation of Complaints

Federal administrative agency activities that are initiated in response to requests, either formal or informal, to examine or investigate claims of violations of Federal statutes, policies, or procedure. The origination of such claims must come from outside the Federal government.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Not applicable.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Salaries and Expenses) Not Separately Identifiable. (Note: Obligations for 17.308 are included in program 17.303.)

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

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 2003 the agency collected over $2,500,000 in back wages for approximately 7,950 agricultural workers.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

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.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


Not applicable.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Any employer subject to the Act is required to keep payroll records.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, Public Law 97-470, as amended, 96 Stat. 2583; 29 U.S.C. 1801-1872.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

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.

Contact information...

Web Sites
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 Additional Contact Information - FMR Help under the Employment Standards Administration.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Administrator, Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: (202) 693-0051.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: