Summary: H.R.7102 — 97th Congress (1981-1982)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (12/19/1982)

(Measure passed Senate, amended)

Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act - Declares the purpose of this Act to be to: (1) remove restraints on commerce caused by activities detrimental to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers; (2) require farm labor contractors to register under this Act; and (3) assure necessary protections for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers, agricultural associations, and agricultural employers.

Sets forth definitions under this Act. Distinguishes between "agricultural employer" and "farm labor contractor." Distinguishes between "migrant agricultural worker" and "seasonal agricultural worker." Sets forth a definition of a "day-haul operation." Uses the same definition of "employ" as under specified provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

Sets forth exemptions from coverage by this Act for specified types of family business, small business, labor organizations and other entities or persons.

Provides that title I of this Act does not apply to any agricultural employer or agricultural association or to any employee of such employer or association.

Title I: Farm Labor Contractors - Requires any person engaged in farm labor contracting activities to have a certificate of registration from the Secretary of Labor specifying which such activities such person is authorized to perform. Prohibits a farm labor contractor from hiring, employing or using any individual to perform such activities unless such individual has a certificate of registration or a certificate of registration as a contractor employee. Holds the contractor responsible for contractor employee violations of this Act or regulations under this Act. Requires each registered contractor and contractor employee to carry, and exhibit on request, such certificates while engaging in such activities. Denies State employment service system facilities and services under the Wagner-Peyser Act to any contractor who refuses or fails to produce a certificate upon request.

Directs the Secretary, after appropriate investigation and approval, to issue certificates to persons who file applications containing specified items, including documentation of compliance with requirements under this Act which deal with vehicles used to transport migrant or seasonal workers and with housing for migrant workers.

Authorizes the Secretary to refuse to issue or renew, or to suspend or revoke, certificates if applicants or holders commit specified violations, fails to meet specified requirements, or have been convicted within the preceding five years of specified offenses. Provides for hearings on an appeals of such refusals, suspensions, or revocations.

Prohibits transfer or assignment of certificates. Sets forth provisions relating to expiration and renewal of certificates and to notice of address change and amendment of certificates.

Prohibits farm labor contractors from recruiting, hiring, or using, with knowledge, the services of any individual who is an alien not lawfully admitted for permanent residence or who has not been authorized by the Attorney General to accept employment.

Title II: Migrant Agricultural Worker Protections - Requires each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association which recruits any migrant agricultural worker to: (1) disclose specified information to such worker; (2) post a statement of worker rights and protections and a statement of the terms and conditions of occupancy of worker housing; and (3) keep specified records with respect to each such worker. Requires each farm labor contractor to supply copies of such records to any agricultural employer and association to which such contractor has furnished such workers. Prohibits knowingly providing false or misleading information to any worker concerning such required information, statements, and records. Requires that specified information and statements be provided in written English or, as necessary and reasonable, in Spanish or other language common to migrant agricultural workers not fluent or literate in English. Requires the Department of Labor to make forms available for use in providing such information.

Requires such contractors, employers, and associations to pay the wages owed to migrant agricultural worker when due. Prohibits contractors, employers, and associations from: (1) requiring such workers to purchase any goods or services solely from such contractors, employers, or associations; or (2) violating, without justification, the terms of any working arrangement with such workers.

Makes each person who owns or controls a facility or real property which is used as housing for migrant agricultural workers responsible for ensuring compliance with substantive Federal and State safety and health standards applicable to that housing. Prohibits such persons from permitting any such facility or property from being occupied by such workers unless there is posted at the site a copy of the certification by a State or local health authority or other appropriate agency that applicable safety and health standards are met. Permits such occupancy in cases in which a request for such inspection has been made to the appropriate at least forty-five days earlier. Exempts from such requirements any person who, in the ordinary course of that person's business, regularly provides housing on a commercial basis to the general public and who provides housing of the same character and on the same or comparable terms or conditions to migrant agricultural workers.

Title III: Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protections - Requires each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association which recruits any seasonal agricultural worker to: (1) disclose specified information to such worker, upon request, when an offer of employment is made (but to disclose such information to day-haul workers at the place of recruitment); (2) post a statement of worker rights and protections; and (3) keep specified records with respect to each such worker. Requires each farm labor contractor to supply copies of such records to any agricultural employer and association to which such contractor has furnished such workers. Prohibits knowingly providing false or misleading information to any worker concerning such required information, statements, and records. Requires that specified information and statements be provided to seasonal agricultural workers in written English or, as necessary and reasonable, in Spanish or other language common to migrant and agricultural workers not fluent or literate in English. Requires the Department of Labor to make forms available for use in providing such information.

Requires such contractors, employers, and associations to pay the wages owed to seasonal agricultural workers when due. Prohibits contractors, employers, and associations from: (1) requiring such workers to purchase any goods or services solely from such contractors, employers, or associations; or (2) violating, without justification, the terms of any working arrangement with such workers.

Title IV: Further Protections for Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers - Sets forth provisions for motor vehicle safety in the transportation of any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker (except on agricultural machinery and equipment while actually engaged in the planting, cultivating, or harvesting any agricultural commodity or the care of livestock or poultry).

Requires each agricultural employer, agricultural association, and farm labor contractor, while using or causing to be used any vehicle for such transportation to: (1) ensure that such vehicle conforms to standards prescribed by the Secretary under this Act and to other applicable Federal and State safety standards; (2) ensure that each driver has a valid and appropriate State license to operate such vehicle; and (3) have an specified type of insurance policy or a liability bond in effect. Directs the Secretary to consider specified factors in prescribing such motor vehicle safety regulations. Provides that such regulations, shall be in addition to, and shall not supersede or modify, any standard or regulation under the Interstate Commerce Act or successor provisions of Federal law which is independently applicable to such transportation. Makes any violation of such standards a violation under this Act. Provides that standards prescribed under the Interstate Commerce Act for the transportation of migrant workers shall be deemed to be standards under this Act if the Secretary fails to prescribe such standards. Requires that the required level of insurance be at least the amount currently required for common carriers of passengers under the Interstate Commerce Act and any successor provisions of Federal law. Provides that, if the employer, association, or contractor provides State workers' compensation coverage for such migrant or seasonal agricultural workers, an insurance policy or liability bond shall be required under this Act only for circumstances under which coverage for transportation of such workers is not provided under State law. Directs the Secretary to prescribe and revise such motor vehicle safety standards by specified regulations.

Prohibits any person from utilizing the services of any farm labor contractor to supply any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker unless the person first takes reasonable steps to determine that the contractor has a valid registration certificate authorizing such activity. Permits reliance upon either possession of such certificate or confirmation of registration by the Department. Directs the Secretary to maintain a central public registry of all persons issued such certificates.

Requires each farm labor contractor to obtain at each place of employment and make available for inspection to every worker such contractor furnishes for employment a written statement of the conditions of such employment.

Prohibits any farm labor contractor from violating, without justification, the terms of any written agreement made with an agricultural employer or an agricultural association pertaining to any contracting activity or worker protection under this Act. Provides that such written agreements do not relieve a person of any responsibility under this Act.

Title V: General Provisions - Part A: Enforcement Provisions - Sets forth provisions relating to criminal sanctions, judicial enforcement, and administrative actions. Provides for a private right of action for any person aggrieved by a violation of this Act or any regulation under this Act. Limits the amount of damages which may be awarded in cases of multiple infractions or in class actions. Prohibits discrimination against any migrant or seasonal worker because of complaints filed, proceedings instituted, testimony, or exercise of rights or protections under this Act.

Declares agreements by employees purporting to waive or modify their rights under this Act to be void as contrary to public policy, but provides that a waiver or modification of rights in favor of the Secretary shall be valid for enforcement purposes.

Part B: Administrative Provisions - Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) issue rules and regulations necessary to carry out this Act; (2) use specified investigative powers to obtain information; and (3) make specified agreements with Federal and State agencies.

Part C: Miscellaneous Provisions - Declares that this Act is intended to supplement State law and that compliance with this Act shall not excuse any person from compliance with appropriate State law and regulation.

Sets forth a transition provision authorizing the Secretary to deny a certificate of registration to any farm labor contractor, as defined in this Act, against whom there is a judgment outstanding under the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act of 1963 or who is subject to a final order of the Secretary under such Act assessing a civil penalty which has not been paid. Provides that any findings under such Act may also be applicable to determinations of willful and knowing violations under this Act.

Repeals the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act of 1963.