Temporary Worker Housing (TWH) Rulemaking

Status

The Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) in conjunction with the Department of Health (DOH) are responding to the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic by adopting a new section to Chapter 296-307 WAC, Temporary Worker Housing (TWH) to protect occupants from COVID-19 hazards in licensed temporary worker housing.

See all the rulemaking activity for TWH on our L&I Rulemaking page.

Learn more about our rulemaking process and terminology.

Background

In February 2020, Governor Inslee proclaimed a State of Emergency in Washington State as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States. The virus was confirmed to spread person-to-person. Under the initial March 23, 2020 Proclamation 20-25, Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, the Governor enacted various forms of social and physical distancing requirements. This was followed by Proclamation amendments adjusting the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order and transitioning to a phased-in approach to re-opening Washington State, referred to as “Safe Start Washington”.

The Governor has also issued Proclamation 20-57 and 20-57.1 addressing workplace and transportation requirements for COVID-19 specific to the agriculture industry.

DOH and L&I will consider such topics as, but not limited to: (1) Air circulation and filtration; (2) Medical monitoring and isolation requirements during outbreaks; (3) Vaccinations; (4) Requirements for group shelters. Some amendments made as part of the emergency rules will be considered for permanent rulemaking.

As new information, data, and science becomes available, it is important that DOH and L&I continue to update and immediately amend existing rules to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These emergency rules are necessary for the preservation of public health, safety, and general welfare of occupants of temporary worker housing as we prepare for and begin the 2021 growing season.

Meetings & Timeline

A CR-101 (Preproposal Statement of Inquiry) was filed on September 10, 2020 communicating that both agencies (L&I and DOH) intent is to undertake permanent rulemaking to address hazards from COVID-19 or other outbreaks of airborne infectious diseases.

Timeline

Action Item Date
First Emergency Rule May 13, 2020
Second Emergency Rule September 10, 2020
CR-101 (Preproposal Statement of Inquiry) for permanent rulemaking September 10, 2020
Third Emergency Rule January 8, 2021
Fourth Emergency Rule
  • Spanish translation of May 7 emergency rule
  • May 7, 2021
    Fifth Emergency Rule May 28, 2021
    Sixth Emergency Rule September 24, 2021

    Upcoming Meetings

    No meetings are currently scheduled, please check back for updates.

    Previous Meetings & Summaries

    Rule Drafts & Documents Stakeholder Feedback

    The following documents have been compiled regarding the Temporary Worker Housing emergency rules and the proposed permanent rulemaking:


    Staff Contacts:

    For rulemaking questions, please contact:
    Cynthia.Ireland@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5522

    For technical questions, please contact:
    Teri.Neely@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-6652
    John.Stebbins@Lni.wa.gov or 206-515-2870
    Nicholas.Reul@Lni.wa.gov or 360-902-5963


    Get updates via email

    If you would like to receive updates regarding this proposed rulemaking project and future stakeholder meetings, please sign up for our email updates.