The purpose of farm labor contractor licensing is to ensure accountability and compliance among farm labor contractors and farmers and protect agricultural workers. L&I has a form available online that help the public file a complaint. L&I investigates the complaint to determine potential liability. L&I then assesses the type of penalty for a violation.
Filing a Complaint
To file a farm labor contractor complaint:
- Fill out the Farm Labor Contractor Complaint Form (F700-109-000).
- Send the completed form to ESGeneral@Lni.wa.gov, or mail to the address provided on the form.
You can file an anonymous complaint. When filing, you can also request that your name and personal information be kept confidential if disclosure of this information could endanger your life, physical safety, or property. That being said, all complaints we receive may be subject to public disclosure.
There are potentially severe criminal and civil penalties for using or acting as an unlicensed farm labor contractors, which includes:
- Doing business as an unlicensed farm labor contractor.
- This includes any person who knowingly or unknowingly recruits, solicits, employs, supplies, transports, or hires workers to perform farm labor contracting activities.
- Doing business with an unlicensed farm labor contractor.
- This includes any person who knowingly uses services of unlicensed farm labor contractors.
Civil penalties can be assessed of up to $1,000 for each violation depending on the circumstances. Violations can be assessed per worker involved. For example, an unlicensed farm labor contractor who hires 100 workers without a worker agreements can be assessed $1,000 for each violation (worker), totaling $100,000 in potential fines.
In addition to civil penalties, failure to be licensed while doing farm labor contractor activities is considered a misdemeanor. Violators can face criminal penalties of up to $5,000 or up to six months imprisonment, or both.