2000 Legislation
Print Friendly

HOUSE BILL NO. 564 – Farm labor contractors, licensure


View Daily Data Tracking History

View Bill Text

View Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

Text to be added within a bill has been marked with Bold and
Underline. Text to be removed has been marked with
Strikethrough and Italic. How these codes are actually displayed will
vary based on the browser software you are using.

This sentence is marked with bold and underline to show added text.

This sentence is marked with strikethrough and italic, indicating
text to be removed.

Daily Data Tracking History

H0564...............................................by AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS
FARM LABOR CONTRACTORS - Adds to existing law to provide for the licensure
and bonding of farm labor contractors by the Department of Labor.
02/14    House intro - 1st rdg - to printing
02/15    Rpt prt - to Agric Aff

Bill Text

  ||||              LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF IDAHO             ||||
 Fifty-fifth Legislature                  Second Regular Session - 2000
                              IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                     HOUSE BILL NO. 564
                             BY AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
  1                                        AN ACT
 15        DATE.
 16    Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Idaho:
 17        SECTION  1.  That Title 44, Idaho Code, be, and the same is hereby amended
 18    by the addition thereto of a NEW CHAPTER, to be known and designated as  Chap-
 19    ter 16, Title 44, Idaho Code, and to read as follows:
 20                                      CHAPTER 16
 21                         LICENSING OF FARM LABOR CONTRACTORS
 22        44-1601.  APPLICABILITY. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to
 23    employees  of  the  department  of  labor acting in their official capacity or
 24    their agents, nor to agricultural employers, nor  to  any  common  carrier  or
 25    employees  thereof  while transporting agricultural employees, only within the
 26    scope of his regular employment for one (1)  agricultural  employer  on  whose
 27    behalf  he  is  so acting, unless he is receiving a commission or fee which is
 28    determined by the number of workers recruited.
 29        44-1602.  DEFINITIONS. As used in this chapter:
 30        (1)  "Agricultural employee" means any person who  renders  personal  ser-
 31    vices  to,  or  under the direction of, an agricultural employer in connection
 32    with the employer's agricultural activity.
 33        (2)  "Agricultural employer" means  any  person  engaged  in  agricultural
 34    activity,  including  the growing, producing, or harvesting of farm or nursery
 35    products, or engaged in the forestation or reforestation of lands.
 36        (3)  "Director" means the director of the department of labor of the state
 37    of Idaho.
 38        (4)  "Farm  labor  contracting  activity"  means  recruiting,  soliciting,
 39    employing, supplying, transporting or hiring agricultural employees.
 40        (5)  "Farm labor contractor" means any person, or his or her agent or sub-
 41    contractor, who, for a fee, performs any farm labor contracting activity.
  1        (6)  "Fee" means:
  2        (a)  Any money or other valuable consideration paid or promised to be paid
  3        for services rendered by a farm labor contractor.
  4        (b)  Any valuable consideration received or to be received by a farm labor
  5        contractor for or in connection with any of the services described in sub-
  6        section (4) of this section, and shall include the difference between  any
  7        amount  paid  out  by  him or her in connection with the rendering of such
  8        services.
  9        (7)  "Person" includes any individual, firm, partnership,  association  or
 10    corporation.
 11        44-1603.  LICENSE  REQUIRED  --  DUPLICATES. No person shall act as a farm
 12    labor contractor until a license to do so has been issued to him or her by the
 13    director, and unless such license is in full force and effect and  is  in  the
 14    contractor's possession. The director shall, by rule, provide a means of issu-
 15    ing  duplicate  licenses  in case of loss of the original license or any other
 16    appropriate instances. The director shall issue on a monthly basis a  list  of
 17    currently licensed farm labor contractors.
 19    director shall not issue to any person a license to act as a farm  labor  con-
 20    tractor until:
 21        (1)  Such  person  has executed a written application on a form prescribed
 22    by the director, subscribed and sworn to by the applicant, and containing:
 23        (a)  A statement by the applicant of all the facts required by the  direc-
 24        tor  concerning the applicant's character, competency, responsibility, and
 25        the manner and method by which he or she proposes to conduct operations as
 26        a farm labor contractor if such license is issued; and
 27        (b)  The names and addresses of all persons financially interested, either
 28        as partners, shareholders, associates or profit sharers, in  the  proposed
 29        operation as a labor contractor, together with the amount of their respec-
 30        tive interests;
 31        (2)  The  director, after investigation, is satisfied as to the character,
 32    competency and responsibility of the applicant;
 33        (3)  The applicant has paid to the director a license fee  of  thirty-five
 34    dollars  ($35.00),  or  such  other  sum  as the director finds necessary, and
 35    adopts by rule, for the administrative costs of evaluating applications;
 36        (4)  The applicant has filed proof satisfactory to  the  director  of  the
 37    existence of a policy of insurance with any insurance carrier authorized to do
 38    business  in  the  state  of Idaho, in an amount satisfactory to the director,
 39    which insures the contractor against liability for damage to persons or  prop-
 40    erty  arising out of the contractor's operation of, or ownership of, any vehi-
 41    cle for the transportation of individuals in connection with the  contractor's
 42    activities as a farm labor contractor;
 43        (5)  The  applicant  has filed a surety bond or other security which meets
 44    the requirements set forth in section 44-1605, Idaho Code;
 45        (6)  The applicant executes a written statement which shall be  subscribed
 46    and sworn to and shall contain the following declaration: "With regards to any
 47    action filed against me concerning my activities as a farm labor contractor, I
 48    appoint  the  director  of the Idaho Department of Labor as my lawful agent to
 49    accept service of summons when I am not present in the jurisdiction  in  which
 50    the  action is commenced or have in any other way become unavailable to accept
 51    service.";
 52        (7)  The applicant has stated on his or her application whether or not his
 53    or her contractor's license or the license of his  or  her  agents,  partners,
  1    associates, stockholders or profit sharers has ever been suspended, revoked or
  2    denied  by  any state or federal agency, and whether or not there are any out-
  3    standing judgments against him or her or any of his or her  agents,  partners,
  4    associates, stockholders or profit sharers in any state or federal court aris-
  5    ing out of activities as a farm labor contractor; and
  6        (8)  The  applicant  has  filed  proof satisfactory to the director of the
  7    existence of a policy of worker's compensation insurance covering the  employ-
  8    ees of the applicant as required by chapter 2, title 72, Idaho Code.
  9        44-1605.  SURETY  BOND  --  SECURITY.  (1)  The director shall require the
 10    deposit of a surety bond by any person acting as a farm labor contractor under
 11    this chapter to insure compliance with the provisions of  this  chapter.  Such
 12    bond shall be in an amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) if the contractor
 13    employs  no  more  than  twenty  (20)  employees,  and thirty thousand dollars
 14    ($30,000) if the contractor employs more than twenty (20) employees. The  bond
 15    shall  be  payable to the state of Idaho and be conditioned on payment of sums
 16    legally owing under contract or  statute  to  an  agricultural  employee.  The
 17    aggregate  liability  of  the  surety  upon such bond for all claims which may
 18    arise thereunder shall not exceed the face amount of the bond.
 19        (2)  The amount of the bond may be raised or additional security  required
 20    by  the  director, upon his or her own motion or upon petition to the director
 21    by any person, when it is shown that the security or bond is  insufficient  to
 22    satisfy the contractor's potential liability for the licensed period.
 23        (3)  No surety insurer may provide any bond, undertaking, recognizance, or
 24    other  obligation for the purpose of securing or guaranteeing any act, duty or
 25    obligation, or the refraining from any act with respect to  a  contract  using
 26    the  services  of a farm labor contractor unless the farm labor contractor has
 27    made application for or has a valid  license  issued  under  section  44-1604,
 28    Idaho  Code, at the time of issuance of the bond, undertaking, recognizance or
 29    other obligation.
 30        (4)  Surety bonds may not be canceled or terminated during the  period  in
 31    which  the bond is executed unless thirty (30) days' notice is provided by the
 32    surety to the department. The bond is written for a one (1) year term and  may
 33    be  renewed  or  extended  by  continuation certification at the option of the
 34    surety.
 35        (5)  In lieu of the surety bond required in this section,  the  contractor
 36    may  file  with  the  director  a deposit consisting of cash or other security
 37    acceptable to the director. The deposit shall not be less  than  ten  thousand
 38    dollars ($10,000) if the contractor employs no more than twenty (20) employees
 39    and  not less than thirty thousand dollars ($30,000) if the contractor employs
 40    more than twenty (20) employees.  The security deposited with the director  in
 41    lieu  of the surety bond shall be returned to the contractor at the expiration
 42    of three (3) years after the farm labor contractor's license  has  expired  or
 43    been revoked, if no legal action has been instituted against the contractor or
 44    on the security deposit at the expiration of the three (3) years.
 45        (6)  If a contractor has deposited a bond with the director and has failed
 46    to comply with the conditions of the bond as provided in this section, and has
 47    departed from this state, service may be made upon the surety.
 49    person, having a claim for wages pursuant to this chapter, may bring suit upon
 50    the surety bond or security deposit filed by the contractor pursuant  to  sec-
 51    tion  44-1605,  Idaho  Code,  in  any  court of competent jurisdiction for the
 52    county in which the claim arose, or in which either the claimant or contractor
 53    resides.
  1        (2)  The right of action is assignable in the name of the director or  any
  2    other person.
  3        44-1607.  LICENSE  --  GROUNDS FOR DENYING. A license to operate as a farm
  4    labor contractor shall be denied to a person whose license  has  been  revoked
  5    within three (3) years from the date of application.
  7    Any person may protest the grant or renewal of a license under  this  section.
  8    The  director may revoke, suspend or refuse to issue or renew any license when
  9    it is shown that:
 10        (1)  The farm labor contractor or any agent of the contractor has violated
 11    or failed to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter;
 12        (2)  The farm labor contractor has made any  misrepresentations  or  false
 13    statements in his or her application for a license;
 14        (3)  The  conditions under which the license was issued have changed or no
 15    longer exist;
 16        (4)  The farm labor contractor, or any agent of the contractor,  has  vio-
 17    lated  or willfully aided or abetted any person in the violation of, or failed
 18    to comply with, any law of the state of Idaho regulating employment  in  agri-
 19    culture,  the  payment of wages to farm employees, or the conditions, terms or
 20    places of employment affecting the health and safety of farm employees,  which
 21    is  applicable  to the business activities, or operations of the contractor in
 22    his or her capacity as a farm contractor.
 23        (5)  The farm labor contractor or any  agent  of  the  contractor  has  an
 24    unsatisfied judgment against him or her in any state or federal court, arising
 25    out of his or her farm labor contracting activities.
 26        44-1609.  LICENSE  --  CONTENTS.  Each  license  shall contain on the face
 27    thereof;
 28        (1)  The name and address of the licensee and the fact that he or  she  is
 29    licensed to act as a farm labor contractor for the period upon the face of the
 30    license only;
 31        (2)  The number, date of issuance and date of expiration of the license;
 32        (3)  The amount of the surety bond deposited by the licensee;
 33        (4)  The fact that the license may not be transferred or assigned; and
 34        (5)  A  statement  that  the  licensee  is or is not licensed to transport
 35    workers.
 36        44-1610.  EXPIRATION AND RENEWAL  OF  LICENSES.  (1)  Each  license  shall
 37    expire  one  (1) year following the date of its issuance unless sooner revoked
 38    by the director.
 39        (2)  Applications for renewal of the license shall  be  made  thirty  (30)
 40    days  prior  to  the expiration date by payment of the fee required in section
 41    44-1604, Idaho Code, but the director may require any person  seeking  renewal
 42    to file a new application under section 44-1604, Idaho Code, and may conduct a
 43    new  investigation  of  the applicant's character, competence and reliability,
 44    and of any other matter relating to the manner by which the applicant proposes
 45    to conduct and has conducted operations as a farm labor contractor.
 46        44-1611.  FARM LABOR CONTRACTOR -- DUTIES. Every person acting as  a  farm
 47    labor contractor shall:
 48        (1)  Carry  a  current  farm  labor  contractor's license at all times and
 49    exhibit it to all persons with whom the contractor  intends  to  deal  in  the
 50    capacity of a farm labor contractor prior to so dealing.
  1        (2)  File at the United States post office serving the address of the con-
  2    tractor,  as  noted on the face of the farm labor contractor's license, a cor-
  3    rect change of address immediately upon each occasion  the  contractor  perma-
  4    nently  moves his or her address, and notify the director within ten (10) days
  5    after an address change is made.
  6        (3)  Promptly when due, pay  or  distribute  to  the  individual  entitled
  7    thereto all moneys or other things of value entrusted to the contractor by any
  8    third person for such purpose.
  9        (4)  Comply  with  the  terms and provisions of all legal and valid agree-
 10    ments and contracts entered into between the contractor in the capacity  of  a
 11    farm labor contractor and third persons.
 12        (5)  File information regarding work offers with the nearest department of
 13    labor  job  service office, such information to include wages to be paid, work
 14    to be performed, and any other conditions or terms of employment.
 15        (6)  On a form prescribed by the director, furnish to each worker  at  the
 16    time of hiring, recruiting, soliciting or supplying, whichever occurs first, a
 17    written  statement in English and any other language common to workers who are
 18    not fluent or literate in English that contains a description of:
 19        (a)  The compensation to be paid and the method of computing the  rate  of
 20        compensation;
 21        (b)  The  terms  and conditions of any bonus offered, including the manner
 22        of determining when the bonus is earned;
 23        (c)  The terms and conditions of any loan made to the worker;
 24        (d)  The conditions of any transportation, housing, board, health and  day
 25        care  services  or  any  other employee benefit to be provided by the farm
 26        labor contractor or by his or her agents, and the costs to be charged  for
 27        each of them;
 28        (e)  The  terms  and  conditions  of employment, including the approximate
 29        length of season or period of employment and the approximate starting  and
 30        ending dates thereof;
 31        (f)  The terms and conditions under which the worker is furnished clothing
 32        or equipment;
 33        (g)  The place of employment;
 34        (h)  The  name  and address of the owner of all operations, or the owner's
 35        agent, where the worker will be working as a result  of  being  recruited,
 36        solicited, supplied or employed by the farm labor contractor;
 37        (i)  The name and address of the farm labor contractor;
 38        (j)  The  name  and address of the surety on the contractor's bond and the
 39        worker's right to claim against the bond.
 40        (7)  Furnish to the worker each time the worker  receives  a  compensation
 41    payment  from  the  farm  labor  contractor, a written statement itemizing the
 42    total payment and the amount and purpose of each  deduction  therefrom,  hours
 43    worked,  rate  of  pay,  and  pieces  done if the work is done on a piece rate
 44    basis, and if the work is done under the service contract act, 41 U.S.C.  sec-
 45    tions 351 through 401, or related federal or state law, a written statement of
 46    any applicable prevailing wage.
 47        44-1612.  FARM  LABOR CONTRACTOR -- PROHIBITED ACTS. No person acting as a
 48    farm labor contractor shall:
 49        (1)  Make any misrepresentation or false statement in an application for a
 50    license.
 51        (2)   Make or cause to be made, to any person, any false,  fraudulent,  or
 52    misleading representation, or publish or circulate or cause to be published or
 53    circulated  any  false,  fraudulent  or  misleading information concerning the
 54    terms or conditions or existence of any employment.
  1        44-1613.  CIVIL PENALTY -- HEARING -- COURT ACTION. (1) The  director  may
  2    assess against any person who violates this chapter, or any rule adopted under
  3    this  chapter,  a civil penalty of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000)
  4    for each violation.
  5        (2)  The person shall be afforded the  opportunity  for  a  hearing,  upon
  6    request  to  the director made within twenty-eight (28) days after the date of
  7    issuance of the notice of assessment. The hearing shall be conducted in accor-
  8    dance with section 67-5242, Idaho Code. The person shall be afforded  a  right
  9    of  judicial review of the director's final order pursuant to section 67-5270,
 10    Idaho Code.
 11        (3)  If any person fails to pay an assessment after it has become a  final
 12    and  unappealable  order, or after a district court has entered final judgment
 13    in favor of the director, the director shall attempt  to  recover  the  amount
 14    assessed  in  the appropriate district court. In such action, the validity and
 15    appropriateness of the final order imposing the penalty shall not  be  subject
 16    to review.
 17        (4)  Without regard to other remedies provided in this chapter, the direc-
 18    tor  may bring suit upon the surety bond filed by the farm labor contractor on
 19    behalf of a worker whose rights under this chapter have been violated  by  the
 20    contractor.  The  action  may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdic-
 21    tion.
 23    BOND OR SECURITY DEPOSIT. (1) In addition to any  other  penalty  provided  by
 24    law, any person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter may bring suit in any
 25    court of competent jurisdiction for the county in which the claim arose, or in
 26    which  either  the  plaintiff  or  respondent  resides,  without regard to the
 27    exhaustion of any alternative administrative remedies provided in  this  chap-
 28    ter. No such action may be commenced later than three (3) years after the date
 29    of  the  violation  giving rise to the right of action. In any such action the
 30    court may award to the prevailing party, in addition to  costs  and  disburse-
 31    ments, reasonable attorney's fees at trial and appeal.
 32        (2)  In  any  action  under  subsection  (1) of this section, if the court
 33    finds that the respondent has violated this chapter or any rule adopted  under
 34    this  chapter,  it may award damages equal to the amount of actual damages, or
 35    statutory damages of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per  plaintiff  per  viola-
 36    tion, whichever is greater, or other equitable relief.
 37        (3)  Without  regard  to other remedies provided in this chapter, a person
 38    having a claim against the farm labor contractor for  any  violation  of  this
 39    chapter  may  bring suit against the farm labor contractor and the surety bond
 40    or security deposit filed by the contractor pursuant to section 44-1605, Idaho
 41    Code, in any court of competent jurisdiction for the county in which the claim
 42    arose, or in which either the claimant or contractor resides.
 43        (4)  An action upon the bond or security deposit  shall  be  commenced  by
 44    serving  and  filing the summons and complaint within three (3) years from the
 45    date of expiration or cancellation of the bond, or in the case of  a  security
 46    deposit, within three (3) years of the date of expiration or revocation of the
 47    license.
 48        (5)  The  surety  upon  the  bond may, upon notice to the director and the
 49    parties, tender to the clerk of the court having jurisdiction of the action an
 50    amount equal to the claims, or the amount equal to the claims or the amount of
 51    the bond less the amount of judgments, if any, previously satisfied  therefrom
 52    and to the extent of such tender the surety upon the bond shall be exonerated.
 53        (6)  If  the actions commenced and pending, at any one (1) time exceed the
 54    amount of the bond then unimpaired, the claims shall  be  satisfied  from  the
  1    bond in the following order:
  2        (a)  Wages, including employee benefits;
  3        (b)  Other contractual and statutory damages owed to the employee;
  4        (c)  Any costs and attorney's fees the claimant may be entitled to recover
  5        by contract or statute.
  6        (7)  If  any final judgment impairs the bond so furnished so that there is
  7    not in effect a bond undertaking in the full  amount  required  under  section
  8    44-1605,  Idaho Code, the director shall suspend the license of the contractor
  9    until the bond liability in the  required  amount  unimpaired  by  unsatisfied
 10    judgment claims has been furnished. If such bond becomes fully impaired, a new
 11    bond must be furnished.
 12        (8)  If the farm labor contractor has filed other security with the direc-
 13    tor  in lieu of a surety bond, any person having an unsatisfied final judgment
 14    against the contractor for any violation of this chapter may execute upon  the
 15    security  deposit  held  by  the  director  by serving a certified copy of the
 16    unsatisfied final judgment by registered or certified mail upon the  director.
 17    Upon  the receipt of service of such certified copy, the director shall pay or
 18    order paid from the deposit, through the registry of the court which  rendered
 19    judgment, towards the amount of the unsatisfied judgment. The priority of pay-
 20    ment  by  the  director shall be the order of receipt by the director, but the
 21    director shall have no liability for payment in excess of the  amount  of  the
 22    deposit.  When  the  director pays or orders paid a judgment from the deposit,
 23    the director shall suspend the license of the contractor until the  contractor
 24    files  with  the  director  a new deposit bringing the total deposit up to the
 25    amount required under section 44-1605, Idaho Code.
 27    any action arising out of the activities of an unlicensed farm labor  contrac-
 28    tor  within this state who is not in the state or is otherwise unavailable for
 29    service of process in this state, the unlicensed farm labor contractor may  be
 30    served by mailing a certified true copy of the summons and complaint to:
 31        (1)  The director of the department of labor;
 32        (2)  The last-known address, if any, of the unlicensed farm labor contrac-
 33    tor; and
 34        (3)  Any  other  address  the  use of which the plaintiff knows, or on the
 35    basis of reasonable inquiry, has reason to believe is most likely to result in
 36    actual notice.
 37        44-1616.  RETALIATION AGAINST EMPLOYEE PROHIBITED. No farm labor  contrac-
 38    tor  may  discharge  or  in any other manner discriminate against any employee
 39    because:
 40        (1)  The employee has made a claim against the farm labor  contractor  for
 41    compensation  for the employee's personal services or for other damages pursu-
 42    ant to this chapter.
 43        (2)  The employee has testified or is about to testify in any  proceedings
 44    on any penalty assessed or civil actions brought pursuant to this chapter.
 45        (3)  The  employee  has  discussed or consulted with anyone concerning the
 46    employee's rights under this chapter.
 47        SECTION 2.  This act shall be in full force and effect on and after  Janu-
 48    ary 1, 2002.

Statement of Purpose / Fiscal Impact

                 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
                      RS 09696C1
     This Farm Labor Contractor Registration legislation would protect both farm
     workers and farmers by requiring farm labor contractors ("FLCs") to obtain a
     license and comply with such requirements as payment of wages, filing of a surety
     bond, provision of worker's compensation insurance, and provision of motor
     vehicles insurance on vehicles used to transport workers. The effective date of the
     legislation would be January 1, 2002. The legislation: 
     1. Is based almost entirely on Washington's FLC Registration Act, with some
     additions from the Oregon FLC Registration Act. Some of the less important
     aspects of the Washington law were omitted to simply the statue. The Washington
     statute was based on the Oregon statute, but was made shorter and simpler. 
     2. Place no liability or requirements on agricultural employers (unlike the
     Washington and Oregon laws.) 
     3. Requires FLCs to obtain a license to act as an FLC. To obtain the license, the
     FLC must: (A) fill out a license application; (B) show proof of liability insurance
     on vehicles used to transport workers; (C) file a surety bond or other security to
     ensure compliance with the statute; and (D) show proof of worker's compensation
     insurance for their employees. 
     4. Requires FLCs to: (A) show their license to all persons they deal with as an
     FLC; (B) comply with all contracts they enter into as an FLC; (C) file information
     regarding job offers with the Job Service; (D) furnish written statements to
     employees regarding the terms and conditions of employment; and (E) furnish
     written statements showing the wages paid and deductions made 
     each time the employee is paid. The legislation prohibits FLCs from making false,
     misleading, or fraudulent job offers. 
     5. Allows any person having a claim against the FLC for any violation of the act
     to bring an action against the FLC and the surety bond or other security. 
     6. Charges the Idaho Department of Labor (IDOL) with conducting the
     registration process and gives the IDOL discretion to assess civil penalties against
     FLCs for violations of the act. The IDOL is authorized to charge a $50
     registration fee or other sum as it finds necessary to cover its administrative costs. 
                     FISCAL NOTE 
     There would be no impact on the general fund as the cost of the registration
     process would be covered by the registration fee. The IDOL may, at its discretion,
     assess civil penalties for violations of the act. Collection of civil penalties could
     be used by the IDOL to cover the cost of assessing such civil penalties. 
               CONTACT:  Rep. Tom Trail, 332-1000 
                                   Rep. Ken Robison, 332-1000 
                                   Rep. David Bieter, 332-1000
                                   Erik Johnson, 345-4733 
                                                  STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/ FISCAL NOTE                              H 564