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What seasonal employers need to know.


Labor Alert
April 10, 2017
Seasonal Farmworker Housing Rules
Are you in Compliance?

Ringold Seasonal Worker Housing, Mesa, WAAs of January 1, 2017, a new rule requiring personal storage in a common sleeping facility became a new requirement for seasonal farmworker housing.  For quite some time, the rule had simply required that you must provide all occupants with suitable storage space for clothing and personal articles located in the occupant’s sleeping room.

Personal Storage:
The new rule requires that the storage space in a common sleeping facility be:

  • Located in the occupant’s room used for sleeping, and it must:
  • Ensure all or a portion of the storage space is enclosed and lockable;
  • Be anchored in a manner which adequately prevents the storage space from being removed from the building; and
  • Be accessible to the temporary worker.

Lockable storage is not required in family shelters, but storage must be provided in the sleeping room.

The rules are silent as to how big it has to be.  It only states "suitable".  Foot lockers, wall lockers, or a drawer under a bed are acceptable.  Below are some examples of personal storage.  (Note: the under bed storage example is mesh basket, however it must be enclosed which suppliers can provide).

There is no requirement to have the lockers elevated off the floor and the space is not deducted from the minimum room square footage requirement. Most personal storage will generally be in the 4 to 6 cubic foot range.

Storage does not have to be commercially manufactured, so you could fabricate your own.  Take into consideration sturdiness and the ability to be cleaned. 

What is the definition of a sleeping room?

Designated as a sleeping area, and is physically separated from other sleeping and common areas (meaning a wall separating rooms).

What is the difference between a common facility and a family shelter?    

Family shelter: a dwelling unit with sleeping facilities for up to 15 occupants. May include toilet or cooking facilities.  If services such as bathing, food-handling, or toilet facilities are provided in the family shelter, they are for the sole use of the occupants of the family shelter (Do not have to be related family).

Common: means a shared facility provided by the operator for all occupants of the TWH.

It is reasonable that anytime you have a group of individuals in a non-typical family setting, to provide lockable enclosed storage for personal effects and clothing.

What about food storage?

Food storage requirements remain unchanged and they are:

  • At least 2 cubic feet of dry food storage per occupant; and
  • At least 2 cubic feet of refrigerated storage space per occupant, maintained at 40°F or below.
Join us next Tuesday!
Temporary Worker Housing Rules Update Webinar

We will review these significant rule changes, new/renewal procedures, receive a camp management plan template and other valuable handouts!


This information is produced by wafla for informational purposes only. The items contained herein are provided for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Wafla does not provide legal advice or counsel; and readers should make their own inquiries before making any decision based on this or any other information received from wafla. If you have questions regarding this alert, please contact the editor, Kim Bresler.

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