Temporary Worker Housing (TWH) Rulemaking


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.


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 2022 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.

Permanent Rule Timeline
Action Item Date
Permanent Rule Language DRAFT April 12, 2023 (Comments Due)​
Permanent Rule Language DRAFT-Spanish April 12, 2023 (Comments Due)​
Proposed Language May 3, 2023
Proposed Language - Spanish May 3, 2023

Public Hearings Schedule

A pre-hearing overview will occur one hour prior to the start of each public hearing. The hearings will begin at the indicated times and will continue until all oral comments are received.”
When Where Time
June 20, 2023 Virtual Pre-Hearing Overview 2:00 pm
Hearing 3:00 pm
June 26, 2023 Mount Vernon
WSU Mount Vernon NWREC
16650 State Route 536
Mount Vernon, WA 98372
Pre-Hearing Overview 2:00 pm
Hearing 3:00 pm​
June 27, 2023 Wenatchee
Pybus Public Market
3 North Worthen Street
Wenatchee, WA 98801
Pre-Hearing Overview 2:00 pm
Hearing 3:00 pm​
June 28, 2023 Kennewick
Red Lion Hotel Columbia Center
1101 North Columbia Center Blvd.
Kennewick, WA 99336
Pre-Hearing Overview 1:00 pm
Hearing 2:00 pm
Emergency Rule 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
May 7, 2021​
Fifth Emergency Rule May 28, 2021​
Sixth Emergency Rule September 24, 2021​
Seventh Emergency Rule
  • Spanish translation of January 2022 Emergency Rule
  • January 21, 2022​
    Eighth Emergency Rule May 20, 2022​
    Ninth Emergency Rule​ September 16, 2022​

    Upcoming Meetings

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

    Previous Meetings & Summaries

    Rule Drafts & Documents

    Agency Filing Documents

    Rule Drafts

    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:
    Bradley.Farrar@lni.wa.gov or 360-902-4825

    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.