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Title 20

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Title 20

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Editorial codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register.

PART 653 - SERVICES OF THE WAGNER-PEYSER ACT EMPLOYMENT SERVICE SYSTEM
Authority:

Secs. 167, 189, 503, Public Law 113-128, 128 Stat. 1425 (Jul. 22, 2014); 29 U.S.C. chapter 4B; 38 U.S.C. part III, chapters 41 and 42.

Source:

81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, unless otherwise noted.

Subpart A [Reserved]
Subpart B - Services for Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers (MSFWs)
§ 653.100 Purpose and scope of subpart.

(a) This subpart sets forth the principal regulations of the Wagner-Peyser Act Employment Service (ES) concerning the provision of services for MSFWs consistent with the requirement that all services of the workforce development system be available to all job seekers in an equitable fashion. This includes ensuring MSFWs have access to these services in a way that meets their unique needs. MSFWs must receive services on a basis which is qualitatively equivalent and quantitatively proportionate to services provided to non-MSFWs.

(b) This subpart contains requirements that State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) establish a system to monitor their own compliance with ES regulations governing services to MSFWs.

(c) Established under this subpart are special services to ensure MSFWs receive the full range of career services as defined in WIOA sec. 134(c)(2).

§ 653.101 Provision of services to migrant and seasonal farmworkers.

Each one-stop center must offer MSFWs the full range of career and supportive services, benefits and protections, and job and training referral services as are provided to non-MSFWs. In providing such services, the one-stop centers must consider and be sensitive to the preferences, needs, and skills of individual MSFWs and the availability of job and training opportunities.

§ 653.102 Job information.

All SWAs must make job order information conspicuous and available to MSFWs by all reasonable means. Such information must, at minimum, be available through internet labor exchange systems and through the one-stop centers. One-stop centers must provide adequate assistance to MSFWs to access job order information easily and efficiently. In designated significant MSFW multilingual offices, such assistance must be provided to MSFWs in their native language, whenever requested or necessary.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 626, Jan. 6, 2020]

§ 653.103 Process for migrant and seasonal farmworkers to participate in workforce development activities.

(a) Each one-stop center must determine whether participants are MSFWs as defined at § 651.10 of this chapter.

(b) All SWAs will ensure that MSFWs who are English Language Learners (ELLs) receive, free of charge, the language assistance necessary to afford them meaningful access to the programs, services, and information offered by the one-stop centers.

(c) One-stop centers must provide MSFWs a list of available career and supportive services in their native language.

(d) One-stop centers must refer and/or register MSFWs for services, as appropriate, if the MSFW is interested in obtaining such services.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 626, Jan. 6, 2020]

§§ 653.104-653.106 [Reserved]
§ 653.107 Outreach and Agricultural Outreach Plan.

(a) State Workforce Agency (SWA) outreach responsibilities.

(1) Each SWA must provide an adequate number of outreach staff to conduct MSFW outreach in their service areas. SWA Administrators must ensure State Monitor Advocates (SMAs) and outreach staff coordinate their outreach efforts with WIOA title I sec. 167 grantees as well as with public and private community service agencies and MSFW groups.

(2) As part of their outreach, SWAs must ensure outreach staff:

(i) Communicate the full range of workforce development services to MSFWs.

(ii) Conduct thorough outreach efforts with extensive follow-up activities in supply States.

(3) For purposes of providing and assigning outreach staff to conduct outreach duties, and to facilitate the delivery of employment services tailored to the special needs of MSFWs, SWAs must seek qualified candidates who speak the language of a significant proportion of the State MSFW population; and

(i) Who are from MSFW backgrounds; or

(ii) Who have substantial work experience in farmworker activities.

(4) In the 20 States with the highest estimated year-round MSFW activity, as identified in guidance issued by the Secretary, there must be full-time, year-round outreach staff to conduct outreach duties. For the remainder of the States, there must be year-round part-time outreach staff, and during periods of the highest MSFW activity, there must be full-time outreach staff. All outreach staff must be multilingual, if warranted by the characteristics of the MSFW population in the State, and must spend a majority of their time in the field.

(5) The SWA must publicize the availability of employment services through such means as newspaper and electronic media publicity. Contacts with public and private community agencies, employers and/or employer organizations, and MSFW groups also must be utilized to facilitate the widest possible distribution of information concerning employment services.

(6) SWAs must ensure each outreach staff member is provided with an identification card or other materials identifying them as representatives of the State.

(b) Outreach staff responsibilities. Outreach staff must locate and contact MSFWs who are not being reached by the normal intake activities conducted by the ES offices. Outreach staff responsibilities include:

(1) Explaining to MSFWs at their working, living, or gathering areas (including day-haul sites), by means of written and oral presentations either spontaneous or recorded, in a language readily understood by them, the following:

(i) The services available at the local one-stop center (which includes the availability of referrals to training, supportive services, and career services, as well as specific employment opportunities), and other related services;

(ii) Information on the Employment Service and Employment-related Law Complaint System;

(iii) Information on the other organizations serving MSFWs in the area; and

(iv) A basic summary of farmworker rights, including farmworker rights with respect to the terms and conditions of employment.

(2) Outreach staff must not enter work areas to perform outreach duties described in this section on an employer's property without permission of the employer unless otherwise authorized to enter by law; must not enter workers' living areas without the permission of the workers; and must comply with appropriate State laws regarding access.

(3) After making the presentation, outreach workers must urge the MSFWs to go to the local one-stop center to obtain the full range of employment and training services.

(4) If an MSFW cannot or does not wish to visit the local one-stop center, the outreach worker must offer to provide on-site the following:

(i) Assistance in the preparation of applications for employment services;

(ii) Assistance in obtaining referral(s) to current and future employment opportunities;

(iii) Assistance in the preparation of either ES or employment-related law complaints;

(iv) Referral of complaints to the ES office Complaint System Representative or ES Office Manager;

(v) Referral to supportive services and/or career services in which the individual or a family member may be interested; and

(vi) As needed, assistance in making appointments and arranging transportation for individual MSFW(s) or members of his/her family to and from local one-stop centers or other appropriate agencies.

(5) Outreach staff must make follow-up contacts as necessary and appropriate to provide the assistance specified in paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section.

(6) Outreach staff must be alert to observe the working and living conditions of MSFWs and, upon observation or upon receipt of information regarding a suspected violation of Federal or State employment-related law, document and refer information to the ES Office Manager for processing in accordance with § 658.411 of this chapter. Additionally, if an outreach staff member observes or receives information about apparent violations (as described in § 658.419 of this chapter), the outreach staff member must document and refer the information to the appropriate ES Office Manager.

(7) Outreach staff must be trained in local office procedures and in the services, benefits, and protections afforded MSFWs by the ES, including training on protecting farmworkers against sexual harassment. While sexual harassment is the primary requirement, training also may include similar issues, such as sexual coercion, assault, and human trafficking. Such trainings are intended to help outreach staff identify when such issues may be occurring in the fields and how to document and refer the cases to the appropriate enforcement agencies. They also must be trained in the procedure for informal resolution of complaints. The program for such training must be formulated by the State Administrator, pursuant to uniform guidelines developed by ETA. The SMA must be given an opportunity to review and comment on the State's program.

(8) Outreach staff must maintain complete records of their contacts with MSFWs and the services they perform. These records must include a daily log, a copy of which must be sent monthly to the ES Office Manager and maintained on file for at least 2 years. These records must include the number of contacts, the names of contacts (if available), and the services provided (e.g., whether a complaint was received and if the complaint or apparent violation was resolved informally or referred to the appropriate enforcement agency, and whether a request for career services was received). Outreach staff also must maintain records of each possible violation or complaint of which they have knowledge, and their actions in ascertaining the facts and referring the matters as provided herein. These records must include a description of the circumstances and names of any employers who have refused outreach staff access to MSFWs pursuant to paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(9) Outreach staff must not engage in political, unionization, or anti-unionization activities during the performance of their duties.

(10) Outreach staff must be provided with, carry, and display, upon request, identification cards or other material identifying them as representatives of the State.

(11) Outreach staff in significant MSFW local offices must conduct especially vigorous outreach in their service areas.

(c) ES office outreach responsibilities. Each ES Office Manager must file with the SMA a monthly summary report of outreach efforts. These reports must summarize information collected, pursuant to paragraph (b)(8) of this section. The ES Office Manager and/or other appropriate staff must assess the performance of outreach staff by examining the overall quality and productivity of their work, including the services provided and the methods and tools used to offer services. Performance must not be judged solely by the number of contacts made by the outreach staff. The monthly reports and daily outreach logs must be made available to the SMA and Federal onsite review teams.

(d) State Agricultural Outreach Plan (AOP).

(1) Each SWA must develop an AOP every 4 years as part of the Unified or Combined State Plans required under sec. 102 or 103 of WIOA.

(2) The AOP must:

(i) Provide an assessment of the unique needs of MSFWs in the area based on past and projected agricultural and MSFW activity in the State;

(ii) Provide an assessment of available resources for outreach;

(iii) Describe the SWA's proposed outreach activities including strategies on how to contact MSFWs who are not being reached by the normal intake activities conducted by the one-stop center;

(iv) Describe the activities planned for providing the full range of employment and training services to the agricultural community, including both MSFWs and agricultural employers, through the one-stop centers; and

(v) Provide an assurance that the SWA is complying with the requirements under § 653.111 if the State has significant MSFW one-stop centers.

(3) In developing the AOP, the SWA must solicit information and suggestions from WIOA sec. 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantees, other appropriate MSFW groups, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other interested organizations. In addition, at least 45 calendar days before submitting its final AOP to the Department, the SWA must provide the proposed AOP to NFJP grantees, public agencies, agricultural employer organizations, and other organizations expressing an interest and allow at least 30 calendar days for review and comment. The SWA must:

(i) Consider any comments received in formulating its final proposed AOP.

(ii) Inform all commenting parties in writing whether their comments have been incorporated and, if not, the reasons therefore.

(iii) Transmit the comments and recommendations received and its responses to the Department with the submission of the AOP. (If the comments are received after the submission of the AOP, they may be sent separately to the Department.)

(4) The AOP must be submitted in accordance with paragraph (d) of this section and planning guidance issued by the Department.

(5) The Annual Summaries required at § 653.108(s) must update the Department on the SWA's progress toward meetings its goals set forth in the AOP.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 626, Jan. 6, 2020]

§ 653.108 State Workforce Agency and State Monitor Advocate responsibilities.

(a) State Administrators must ensure their SWAs monitor their own compliance with ES regulations in serving MSFWs on an ongoing basis. The State Administrator has overall responsibility for SWA self-monitoring.

(b) The State Administrator must appoint an SMA who must be a SWA official. The State Administrator must inform farmworker organizations and other organizations with expertise concerning MSFWs of the opening and encourage them to refer qualified applicants to apply. Among qualified candidates, the SWAs must seek persons:

(1) Who are from MSFW backgrounds; or

(2) Who speak the language of a significant proportion of the State MSFW population; or

(3) Who have substantial work experience in farmworker activities.

(c) The SMA must have direct, personal access, when necessary, to the State Administrator.

(d) The SMA must have ES staff necessary to fulfill effectively all of the duties set forth in this subpart. The number of ES staff positions must be determined by reference to the number of MSFWs in the State, as measured at the time of the peak MSFW population, and the need for monitoring activity in the State. The SMA must devote full time to Monitor Advocate functions. Any State that proposes less than full-time dedication must demonstrate to its Regional Administrator that the SMA function can be effectively performed with part-time staffing.

(e) All SMAs and their staff must attend, within the first 3 months of their tenure, a training session conducted by the Regional Monitor Advocate. They also must attend whatever additional training sessions are required by the Regional or National Monitor Advocate.

(f) The SMA must provide any relevant documentation requested from the SWA by the Regional Monitor Advocate or the National Monitor Advocate.

(g) The SMA must:

(1) Conduct an ongoing review of the delivery of services and protections afforded by the ES regulations to MSFWs by the SWA and ES offices (including efforts to provide ES staff in accordance with § 653.111, and the appropriateness of informal complaint and apparent violation resolutions as documented in the complaint logs). The SMA, without delay, must advise the SWA and local offices of problems, deficiencies, or improper practices in the delivery of services and protections afforded by these regulations and may request a corrective action plan to address these deficiencies. The SMA must advise the SWA on means to improve the delivery of services.

(2) Participate in on-site reviews on a regular basis, using the following procedures:

(i) Before beginning an onsite review, the SMA or review staff must study:

(A) Program performance data;

(B) Reports of previous reviews;

(C) Corrective action plans developed as a result of previous reviews;

(D) Complaint logs including logs documenting the informal resolution of complaints and apparent violations; and

(E) Complaints elevated from the office or concerning the office.

(ii) Ensure that the onsite review format, developed by ETA, is used as a guideline for onsite reviews.

(iii) Upon completion of an onsite monitoring review, the SMA must hold one or more wrap-up sessions with the ES office manager and staff to discuss any findings and offer initial recommendations and appropriate technical assistance.

(iv) After each review the SMA must conduct an in-depth analysis of the review data. The conclusions and recommendations of the SMA must be put in writing and must be sent to the State Administrator, to the official of the SWA with authority over the ES office, and other appropriate SWA officials.

(v) If the review results in any findings of noncompliance with the regulations under this chapter, the ES office manager must develop and propose a written corrective action plan. The plan must be approved or revised by SWA officials and the SMA. The plan must include actions required to correct or to take major steps to correct any compliance issues within 30 business days, and if the plan allows for more than 30 business days for full compliance, the length of, and the reasons for, the extended period must be specifically stated. SWAs are responsible for assuring and documenting that the ES office is in compliance within the time period designated in the plan.

(vi) SWAs must submit to the appropriate ETA regional office copies of the onsite review reports and corrective action plans for ES offices.

(vii) The SMA may recommend that the review described in paragraph (g)(2) of this section be delegated to a SWA official, if and when the State Administrator finds such delegation necessary. In such event, the SMA is responsible for and must approve the written report of the review.

(3) Ensure all significant MSFW one-stop centers not reviewed onsite by Federal staff are reviewed at least once per year by a SWA official, and that, if necessary, those ES offices in which significant problems are revealed by required reports, management information, the Complaint System, or other means are reviewed as soon as possible.

(4) Review and approve the SWA's Agricultural Outreach Plan (AOP).

(5) On a random basis, review outreach workers' daily logs and other reports including those showing or reflecting the workers' activities.

(6) Write and submit annual summaries to the State Administrator with a copy to the Regional Administrator as described in paragraph (s) of this section.

(h) The SMA must participate in Federal reviews conducted pursuant to part 658, subpart G, of this chapter.

(i) At the discretion of the State Administrator, the SMA may be assigned the responsibility as the Complaint System Representative. The SMA must participate in and monitor the performance of the Complaint System, as set forth at §§ 658.400 and 658.401 of this chapter. The SMA must review the ES office's informal resolution of complaints relating to MSFWs and must ensure that the ES office manager transmits copies of the Complaint System logs pursuant to part 658, subpart E, of this chapter to the SWA.

(j) The SMA must serve as an advocate to improve services for MSFWs.

(k) The SMA must establish an ongoing liaison with WIOA sec. 167 National Farmworker Jobs Program (NFJP) grantees and other organizations serving farmworkers, employers, and employer organizations in the State.

(l) The SMA must meet (either in person or by alternative means), at minimum, quarterly, with representatives of the organizations pursuant to paragraph (k) of this section, to receive complaints, assist in referrals of alleged violations to enforcement agencies, receive input on improving coordination with ES offices or improving the coordination of services to MSFWs. To foster such collaboration, the SMAs must establish Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) with the NFJP grantees and may establish MOUs with other organizations serving farm workers as appropriate.

(m) The SMA must conduct frequent field visits to the working, living, and gathering areas of MSFWs, and must discuss employment services and other employment-related programs with MSFWs, crew leaders, and employers. Records must be kept of each such field visit.

(n) The SMA must participate in the appropriate regional public meeting(s) held by the Department of Labor Regional Farm Labor Coordinated Enforcement Committee, other Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division task forces, and other committees as appropriate.

(o) The SMA must ensure that outreach efforts in all significant MSFW one-stop centers are reviewed at least yearly. This review will include accompanying at least one outreach staff from each significant MSFW one-stop center on field visits to MSFWs' working, living, and/or gathering areas. The SMA must review findings from these reviews with the ES office managers.

(p) The SMA must review on at least a quarterly basis all statistical and other MSFW-related data reported by ES offices in order:

(1) To determine the extent to which the SWA has complied with the ES regulations; and

(2) To identify the areas of non-compliance.

(q) The SMA must have full access to all statistical and other MSFW-related information gathered by SWAs and ES offices, and may interview SWA and ES office staff with respect to reporting methods. Subsequent to each review, the SMA must consult, as necessary, with the SWA and ES offices and provide technical assistance to ensure accurate reporting.

(r) The SMA must review and comment on proposed State ES directives, manuals, and operating instructions relating to MSFWs and must ensure:

(1) That they accurately reflect the requirements of the regulations; and

(2) That they are clear and workable. The SMA also must explain and make available at the requestor's cost, pertinent directives and procedures to employers, employer organizations, farmworkers, farmworker organizations, and other parties expressing an interest in a readily identifiable directive or procedure issued and receive suggestions on how these documents can be improved.

(s) The SMA must prepare for the State Administrator, the Regional Monitor Advocate, and the National Monitor Advocate an Annual Summary describing how the State provided employment services to MSFWs within the State based on statistical data, reviews, and other activities as required in this chapter. The summary must include:

(1) A description of the activities undertaken during the program year by the SMA pertaining to his/her responsibilities set forth in this section and other applicable regulations in this chapter.

(2) An assurance that the SMA has direct, personal access, whenever he/she finds it necessary, to the State Administrator.

(3) An assurance the SMA devotes all of his/her time to Monitor Advocate functions. Or, if the SMA conducts his/her functions on a part-time basis, an explanation of how the SMA functions are effectively performed with part-time staffing.

(4) A summary of the monitoring reviews conducted by the SMA, including:

(i) A description of any problems, deficiencies, or improper practices the SMA identified in the delivery of services;

(ii) A summary of the actions taken by the SWA to resolve the problems, deficiencies, or improper practices described in its service delivery; and

(iii) A summary of any technical assistance the SMA provided for the SWA and the ES offices.

(5) A summary of the outreach efforts undertaken by all significant and non-significant MSFW ES offices.

(6) A summary of the State's actions taken under the Complaint System described in part 658, subpart E, of this chapter, identifying any challenges, complaint trends, findings from reviews of the Complaint System, trainings offered throughout the year, and steps taken to inform MSFWs and employers, and farmworker advocacy groups about the Complaint System.

(7) A summary of how the SMA is working with WIOA sec. 167 NFJP grantees and other organizations serving farmworkers, employers and employer organizations, in the State, and an assurance that the SMA is meeting at least quarterly with representatives of these organizations.

(8) A summary of the statistical and other MSFW-related data and reports gathered by SWAs and ES offices for the year, including an overview of the SMA's involvement in the SWA's reporting systems.

(9) A summary of the training conducted for ES staff on techniques for accurately reporting data.

(10) A summary of activities related to the AOP and an explanation of how those activities helped the State reach the goals and objectives described in the AOP. At the end of the 4-year AOP cycle, the summary must include a synopsis of the SWA's achievements over the previous 4 years to accomplish the goals set forth in the AOP, and a description of the goals which were not achieved and the steps the SWA will take to address those deficiencies.

(11) For significant MSFW ES offices, a summary of the State's efforts to provide ES staff in accordance with § 653.111.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 627, Jan. 6, 2020]

§ 653.109 Data collection and performance accountability measures.

SWAs must:

(a) Collect career service indicator data for the career services specified in WIOA sec. 134(c)(2)(A)(xii).

(b) Collect data, in accordance with applicable ETA Reports and Guidance, on:

(1) The number of MSFWs contacted through outreach activities;

(2) The number of MSFWs and non-MSFWs registered for career services;

(3) The number of MSFWs referred to and placed in agricultural jobs;

(4) The number of MSFWs referred to and placed in non-agricultural jobs;

(5) The percentage of MSFW program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program;

(6) The median earnings of MSFW program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the second quarter after exit from the program;

(7) The percentage of MSFW program participants who are in unsubsidized employment during the fourth quarter after exit from the program;

(8) The number of MSFWs served who identified themselves as male, female, Hispanic or Latino, Black or African-American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or White;

(9) Agricultural clearance orders (including field checks), MSFW complaints and apparent violations, and monitoring activities; and

(10) Any other data required by the Department.

(c) Provide necessary training to ES staff on techniques for accurately reporting data.

(d) Collect and submit data on MSFWs required by the Unified or Combined State Plan, as directed by the Department.

(e) Periodically verify data required to be collected under this section, take necessary steps to ensure its validity, and submit the data for verification to the Department, as directed by the Department.

(f) Submit additional reports to the Department as directed.

(g) Meet equity indicators that address ES controllable services and include, at a minimum, individuals referred to a job, receiving job development, and referred to supportive or career services.

(h) Meet minimum levels of service in significant MSFW States. That is, only significant MSFW SWAs will be required to meet minimum levels of service to MSFWs. Minimum level of service indicators must include, at a minimum, individuals placed in a job, individuals placed long-term (150 days or more) in a non-agricultural job, a review of significant MSFW ES offices, field checks conducted, outreach contacts per week, and processing of complaints. The determination of the minimum service levels required of significant MSFW States for each year must be based on the following:

(1) Past SWA performance in serving MSFWs, as reflected in on-site reviews and data collected under paragraph (b) of this section.

(2) The need for services to MSFWs in the upcoming year, comparing prior and projected levels of MSFW activity.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 628, Jan. 6, 2020]

§ 653.110 Disclosure of data.

(a) SWAs must disclose to the public, on written request, in conformance with applicable State and Federal law, the data collected by SWAs and ES offices pursuant to § 653.109, if possible within 10 business days after receipt of the request.

(b) If a request for data held by a SWA is made to the ETA national or regional office, the ETA must forward the request to the SWA for response.

(c) If the SWA cannot supply the requested data within 10 business days after receipt of the request, the SWA must respond to the requestor in writing, giving the reason for the delay and specifying the date by which it expects to be able to comply.

(d) SWA intra-agency memoranda and reports (or parts thereof) and memoranda and reports (or parts thereof) between the SWA and the ETA, to the extent that they contain statements of opinion rather than facts, may be withheld from public disclosure provided the reason for withholding is given to the requestor in writing. Similarly, documents or parts thereof, which, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal or employer privacy, also may be withheld provided the reason is given to the requestor in writing.

§ 653.111 State Workforce Agency staffing requirements.

(a) The SWA must implement and maintain a program for staffing significant MSFW one-stop centers by providing ES staff in a manner facilitating the delivery of employment services tailored to the special needs of MSFWs, including by seeking ES staff that meet the criteria in § 653.107(a)(3).

(b) The SMA, Regional Monitor Advocate, or the National Monitor Advocate, as part of his/her regular reviews of SWA compliance with these regulations, must monitor the extent to which the SWA has complied with its obligations under paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) SWAs remain subject to all applicable Federal laws prohibiting discrimination and protecting equal employment opportunity.

[85 FR 628, Jan. 6, 2020]

Subparts C-E [Reserved]
Subpart F - Agricultural Recruitment System for U.S. Workers (ARS)
§ 653.500 Purpose and scope of subpart.

This subpart includes the requirements for the acceptance of intrastate and interstate job clearance orders which seek U.S. workers to perform farmwork on a temporary, less than year-round basis. Orders seeking workers to perform farmwork on a year-round basis are not subject to the requirements of this subpart. This subpart affects all job orders for workers who are recruited through the ES intrastate and interstate clearance systems for less than year-round farmwork, including both MSFWs and non-MSFW job seekers.

§ 653.501 Requirements for processing clearance orders.

(a) Assessment of need. No ES office or SWA official may place a job order seeking workers to perform farmwork into intrastate or interstate clearance unless:

(1) The ES office and employer have attempted and have not been able to obtain sufficient workers within the local labor market area; or

(2) The ES office anticipates a shortage of local workers.

(b) ES office responsibilities.

(1) Each ES office must ensure the agricultural clearance form prescribed by the Department (ETA Form 790 or its subsequently issued form), and its attachments are complete when placing intrastate or interstate clearance orders seeking workers.

(2) All clearance orders must be posted in accordance with applicable ETA guidance. If the job order for the ES office incorporates offices beyond the local office commuting area, the ES office must suppress the employer information in order to facilitate the orderly movement of workers within the ES.

(3) ES staff must determine, through a preoccupancy housing inspection performed by ES staff or an appropriate public agency, that the housing assured by the employer is either available and meets the applicable housing standards or has been approved for conditional access to the clearance system as set forth in § 653.502; except that mobile range housing for sheepherders and goatherders must meet existing Departmental guidelines and/or applicable regulations.

(c) SWA responsibilities.

(1) SWAs must ensure intrastate and interstate clearance orders:

(i) Include the following language: “In view of the statutorily established basic function of the ES as a no-fee labor exchange, that is, as a forum for bringing together employers and job seekers, neither the ETA nor the SWAs are guarantors of the accuracy or truthfulness of information contained on job orders submitted by employers. Nor does any job order accepted or recruited upon by the ES constitute a contractual job offer to which the ETA or a SWA is in any way a party;”

(ii) Do not contain an unlawful discriminatory specification including, for beneficiaries (as defined in 29 CFR 38.4) only, on the basis of citizenship status or participant status;

(iii) Are signed by the employer; and

(iv) State all the material terms and conditions of the employment, including:

(A) The crop;

(B) The nature of the work;

(C) The anticipated period and hours of employment;

(D) The anticipated starting and ending date of employment and the anticipated number of days and hours per week for which work will be available;

(E) The hourly wage rate or the piece rate estimated in hourly wage rate equivalents for each activity and unit size;

(F) Any deductions to be made from wages;

(G) A specification of any non-monetary benefits to be provided by the employer;

(H) Any hours, days, or weeks for which work is guaranteed, and, for each guaranteed week of work except as provided in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section, the exclusive manner in which the guarantee may be abated due to weather conditions or other acts of God beyond the employer's control; and

(I) Any bonus or work incentive payments or other expenses which will be paid by the employer in addition to the basic wage rate, including the anticipated time period(s) within which such payments will be made.

(2) SWAs must ensure:

(i) The wages and working conditions offered are not less than the prevailing wages and working conditions among similarly employed farmworkers in the area of intended employment or the applicable Federal or State minimum wage, whichever is higher. If the wages offered are expressed as piece rates or as base rates and bonuses, the employer must make the method of calculating the wage and supporting materials available to ES staff who must check if the employer's calculation of the estimated hourly wage rate is reasonably accurate and is not less than the prevailing wage rate or applicable Federal or State minimum wage, whichever is higher; and

(ii) The employer has agreed to provide or pay for the transportation of the workers and their families at or before the end of the period of employment specified in the job order on at least the same terms as transportation is commonly provided by employers in the area of intended employment to farmworkers and their families recruited from the same area of supply. Under no circumstances may the payment or provision of transportation occur later than the departure time needed to return home to begin the school year, in the case of any worker with children 18 years old or younger, or be conditioned on the farmworker performing work after the period of employment specified in the job order.

(3) SWAs must ensure the clearance order includes the following assurances:

(i) The employer will provide to workers referred through the clearance system the number of hours of work cited in paragraph (c)(1)(iv)(D) of this section for the week beginning with the anticipated date of need, unless the employer has amended the date of need at least 10 business days prior to the original date of need (pursuant to paragraph (c)(3)(iv) of this section) by so notifying the order-holding office in writing (email notification may be acceptable). The SWA must make a record of this notification and must attempt to inform referred workers of the change expeditiously.

(ii) No extension of employment beyond the period of employment specified in the clearance order may relieve the employer from paying the wages already earned, or if specified in the clearance order as a term of employment, providing transportation or paying transportation expenses to the worker's home.

(iii) The working conditions comply with applicable Federal and State minimum wage, child labor, social security, health and safety, farm labor contractor registration and other employment-related laws.

(iv) The employer will expeditiously notify the order-holding office or SWA by emailing and telephoning immediately upon learning that a crop is maturing earlier or later, or that weather conditions, over-recruitment or other factors have changed the terms and conditions of employment.

(v) The employer, if acting as a farm labor contractor (“FLC”) or farm labor contractor employee (“FLCE”) on the order, has a valid Federal FLC certificate or Federal FLCE identification card and when appropriate, any required State farm labor contractor certificate.

(vi) The availability of no cost or public housing which meets the Federal standards and which is sufficient to house the specified number of workers requested through the clearance system. This assurance must cover the availability of housing for only those workers, and when applicable, family members who are not reasonably able to return to their residence in the same day.

(vii) Outreach staff must have reasonable access to the workers in the conduct of outreach activities pursuant to § 653.107.

(viii) The job order contains all the material terms and conditions of the job. The employer must assure this by signing the following statement in the clearance order: “This clearance order describes the actual terms and conditions of the employment being offered by me and contains all the material terms and conditions of the job.”

(4) If a SWA discovers that an employer's clearance order contains a material misrepresentation, the SWA may initiate the Discontinuation of Services as set forth in part 658, subpart F of this chapter.

(5) If there is a change to the anticipated date of need and the employer fails to notify the order-holding office at least 10 business days prior to the original date of need the employer must pay eligible (pursuant to paragraph (d)(4) of this section) workers referred through the clearance system the specified hourly rate of pay, or if the pay is piece-rate, the higher of the Federal or State minimum wage for the first week starting with the originally anticipated date of need or provide alternative work if such alternative work is stated on the clearance order. If an employer fails to comply under this section the order holding office may notify the Department's Wage and Hour Division for possible enforcement.

(d) Processing clearance orders.

(1) The order-holding office must transmit an electronic copy of the approved clearance order to its SWA. The SWA must distribute additional electronic copies of the form with all attachments (except that the SWA may, at its discretion, delegate this distribution to the local office) as follows:

(i) At least one copy of the clearance order must be sent to each of the SWAs selected for recruitment (areas of supply);

(ii) At least one copy of the clearance order must be sent to each applicant-holding ETA regional office;

(iii) At least one copy of the clearance order must be sent to the order-holding ETA regional office; and

(iv) At least one copy of the clearance order must be sent to the Regional Farm Labor Coordinated Enforcement Committee and/or other Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Wage and Hour Division regional agricultural coordinators, and/or other committees as appropriate in the area of employment.

(2) The ES office may place an intrastate or interstate order seeking workers to perform farmwork for a specific farm labor contractor or for a worker preferred by an employer provided the order meets ES nondiscrimination criteria. The order would not meet such criteria, for example, if it requested a “white male crew leader” or “any white male crew leader.”

(3) The approval process described in paragraph (d)(3) of this section does not apply to clearance orders that are attached to applications for foreign temporary agricultural workers pursuant to part 655, subpart B, of this chapter; such clearance orders must be sent to the processing center as directed by ETA in guidance. For non-criteria clearance orders (orders that are not attached to applications under part 655, subpart B, of this chapter), the ETA regional office must review and approve the order within 10 business days of its receipt of the order, and the Regional Administrator or his/her designee must approve the areas of supply to which the order will be extended. Any denial by the Regional Administrator or his/her designee must be in writing and state the reasons for the denial.

(4) The applicant holding office must notify all referred farmworkers, farm labor contractors on behalf of farmworkers, or family heads on behalf of farmworker family members, to contact an ES office, preferably the order-holding office, to verify the date of need cited in the clearance order between 9 and 5 business days prior to the original date of need cited in the clearance order; and that failure to do so will disqualify the referred farmworker from the first weeks' pay as described in paragraph (c)(3)(i) of this section. The SWA must make a record of this notification.

(5) If the worker referred through the clearance system contacts an ES office (in any State) other than the order holding office, that ES office must assist the referred worker in contacting the order holding office on a timely basis. Such assistance must include, if necessary, contacting the order holding office by telephone or other timely means on behalf of the worker referred through the clearance system.

(6) ES staff must assist all farmworkers, upon request in their native language, to understand the terms and conditions of employment set forth in intrastate and interstate clearance orders and must provide such workers with checklists in their native language showing wage payment schedules, working conditions, and other material specifications of the clearance order.

(7) If an order holding office learns that a crop is maturing earlier than expected or that other material factors, including weather conditions and recruitment levels have changed since the date the clearance order was accepted, the SWA must contact immediately the applicant holding office which must inform immediately crews and families scheduled to report to the job site of the changed circumstances and must adjust arrangements on behalf of such crews and families.

(8) When there is a delay in the date of need, SWAs must document notifications by employers and contacts by individual farmworkers or crew leaders on behalf of farmworkers or family heads on behalf of farmworker family members to verify the date of need.

(9) If weather conditions, over-recruitment, or other conditions have eliminated the scheduled job opportunities, the SWAs involved must make every effort to place the workers in alternate job opportunities as soon as possible, especially if the worker(s) is/are already en route or at the job site. ES staff must keep records of actions under this section.

(10) Applicant-holding offices must provide workers referred on clearance orders with a checklist summarizing wages, working conditions and other material specifications in the clearance order. Such checklists, where necessary, must be in the workers' native language. The checklist must include language notifying the worker that a copy of the original clearance order is available upon request. SWAs must use a standard checklist format provided by the Department (such as in Form WH516 or a successor form).

(11) The applicant-holding office must give each referred worker a copy of the list of worker's rights described in the Department's ARS Handbook.

(12) If the labor supply SWA accepts a clearance order, the SWA must actively recruit workers for referral. In the event a potential labor supply SWA rejects a clearance order, the reasons for rejection must be documented and submitted to the Regional Administrator having jurisdiction over the SWA. The Regional Administrator will examine the reasons for rejection, and, if the Regional Administrator agrees, will inform the Regional Administrator with jurisdiction over the order-holding SWA of the rejection and the reasons. If the Regional Administrator who receives the notification of rejection does not concur with the reasons for rejection, that Regional Administrator will inform the National Monitor Advocate, who, in consultation with the appropriate ETA higher authority, will make a final determination on the acceptance or rejection of the order.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 628, Jan. 6, 2020]

§ 653.502 Conditional access to the Agricultural Recruitment System.

(a) Filing requests for conditional access -

(1) “Noncriteria” employers. Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, an employer whose housing does not meet applicable standards may file with the ES office serving the area in which its housing is located, a written request for its clearance orders to be conditionally allowed into the intrastate or interstate clearance system, provided that the employer's request assures its housing will be in full compliance with the requirements of the applicable housing standards at least 20 calendar days (giving the specific date) before the housing is to be occupied.

(2) “Criteria” employers. If the request for conditional access described in paragraph (a)(1) of this section is from an employer filing a clearance order pursuant to an application for temporary alien agricultural labor certification for H-2A workers under subpart B of part 655 of this chapter, the request must be filed with the Certifying Officer (CO) at the processing center designated by ETA in guidance to make determinations on applications for temporary employment certification under the H-2A program.

(3) Assurance. The employer's request pursuant to paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section must contain an assurance that the housing will be in full compliance with the applicable housing standards at least 20 calendar days (stating the specific date) before the housing is to be occupied.

(b) Processing requests -

(1) SWA processing. Upon receipt of a written request for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system under paragraph (a)(1) of this section, the ES office must send the request to the SWA, which, in turn, must forward it to the Regional Administrator.

(2) Regional office processing and determination. Upon receipt of a request for conditional access pursuant to paragraph (b)(1) of this section, the Regional Administrator must review the matter and, as appropriate, must either grant or deny the request.

(c) Authorization. The authorization for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system must be in writing, and must state that although the housing does not comply with the applicable standards, the employer's job order may be placed into intrastate or interstate clearance until a specified date. The Regional Administrator must send the authorization to the employer and must send copies (hard copy or electronic) to the appropriate SWA and ES office. The employer must submit and the ES office must attach copies of the authorization to each of the employer's clearance orders which is placed into intrastate or interstate clearance.

(d) Notice of denial. If the Regional Administrator denies the request for conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system he/she must provide written notice to the employer, the appropriate SWA, and the ES office, stating the reasons for the denial.

(e) Inspection. The ES office serving the area containing the housing of any employer granted conditional access to the intrastate or interstate clearance system must assure that the housing is inspected no later than the date by which the employer has promised to have its housing in compliance with the applicable housing standards. An employer however, may request an earlier preliminary inspection. If, on the date set forth in the authorization, the housing is not in full compliance with the applicable housing standards as assured in the request for conditional access, the ES office must afford the employer 5 calendar days to bring the housing into full compliance. After the 5-calendar-day period, if the housing is not in full compliance with the applicable housing standards as assured in the request for conditional access, the ES office must immediately:

(1) Notify the RA or the NPC designated by the Regional Administrator;

(2) With the approval of an appropriate SWA official, remove the employer's clearance orders from intrastate and interstate clearance; and

(3) If workers have been recruited against these orders, in cooperation with the ES agencies in other States, make every reasonable attempt to locate and notify the appropriate crew leaders or workers, and to find alternative and comparable employment for the workers.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 628, Jan. 6, 2020]

§ 653.503 Field checks.

(a) If a worker is placed on a clearance order, the SWA must notify the employer in writing that the SWA, through its ES offices, and/or Federal staff, must conduct random, unannounced field checks to determine and document whether wages, hours, and working and housing conditions are being provided as specified in the clearance order.

(b) Where the SWA has made placements on 10 or more agricultural clearance orders (pursuant to this subpart) during the quarter, the SWA must conduct field checks on at least 25 percent of the total of such orders. Where the SWA has made placements on nine or fewer job orders during the quarter (but at least one job order), the SWA must conduct field checks on 100 percent of all such orders. This requirement must be met on a quarterly basis.

(c) Field checks must include visit(s) to the worksite at a time when workers are present. When conducting field checks, ES staff must consult both the employees and the employer to ensure compliance with the full terms and conditions of employment.

(d) If the individual conducting the field check observes or receives information, or otherwise has reason to believe that conditions are not as stated in the clearance order or that an employer is violating an employment-related law, the individual must document the finding and attempt informal resolution where appropriate (for example, informal resolution must not be attempted in certain cases, such as E.O.-related issues and others identified by the Department through guidance). If the matter has not been resolved within 5 business days, the SWA must initiate the Discontinuation of Services as set forth at part 658, subpart F of this chapter and must refer apparent violations of employment-related laws to appropriate enforcement agencies in writing.

(e) SWA officials may enter into formal or informal arrangements with appropriate State and Federal enforcement agencies where the enforcement agency staff may conduct field checks instead of and on behalf of the SWA. The agreement may include the sharing of information and any actions taken regarding violations of the terms and conditions of the employment as stated in the clearance order and any other violations of employment-related laws. An enforcement agency field check must satisfy the requirement for SWA field checks where all aspects of wages, hours, and working and housing conditions have been reviewed by the enforcement agency. The SWA must supplement enforcement agency efforts with field checks focusing on areas not addressed by enforcement agencies.

(f) ES staff must keep records of all field checks.

[81 FR 56341, Aug. 19, 2016, as amended at 85 FR 628, Jan. 6, 2020]