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Agricultural Labor Housing Task Force

In 2022, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown created the Interagency Task Force on Agricultural Labor Housing to establish a coordinated approach to changes of agricultural workers and their families who reside in employer-provided housing. The task force focused on three key areas: coordinating compliance, capital improvements, and infrastructure and statewide issues. The task force made its initial recommendations to Gov. Brown in November 2022.

After the report was submitted to the Governor’s Office, the task force no longer existed in the same format as originally designed. It has shifted to the Oregon Housing and Community Services Agricultural Workforce Facilitation Team, which meets monthly “to provide an ongoing discussion forum for state and local government agencies that are involved with agriculture workforce housing” under ORS 456.585.

Coordinating compliance

State agencies are responsible for compliance with several state statutes that affect the health and safety of Oregon workers and their families. These enforcement efforts sometimes overlap. There are also areas where an agency’s jurisdiction is not clear.

The task force was a forum for clarifying agency regulatory responsibility and gaps and providing for more coordinated enforcement efforts. The task force made initial recommendations to the governor in November 2022.

Capital improvements

Improving the conditions in employer-provided housing for agricultural workers and their families will require major capital investments in the areas of structural upgrade, water, and sanitation to name a few. The cost improvements may be beyond the abilities of the private sector to finance. The task force provided a forum to develop a potential policy package for the 2023 legislative session to fund major capital improvements.

Infrastructure and statewide issues

There are significant infrastructure issues that must be addressed in order to move ahead with improving conditions for agricultural workers and their families.

The task force identified existing barriers to improving conditions and sought regulatory or legislative solutions to overcome these barriers. Some examples include local zoning regulations, electrical infrastructure, ground water resources, and water rights.​


Monday, June 6, 2022, 2-4 p.m.

Video (Passcode: &

Friday, June 24, 2022, 1-3 p.m.

Video​ (Passcode: 9X$&bpW6)​

Friday, July 15, 2022, 2-4 p.m​.

Agenda​ (PDF)
Video (Passcode: 8@5aq*Hd​)

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022, 1-​3 ​p.m.

Video ​(Passcode: =nC?L1P&)

​Friday, Oct. 28, 2022
Video ​(Passcode: Yam&3XGZ)​

Task force members

  • Bureau of Labor and Industries: Michael Sterner
  • Department of Consumer and Business Services: Renée Stapleton (O​regon OSHA), Alana Cox (Building Codes Division), Jennifer Flood (Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers)
  • Department of Environmental Quality: Annalisa Bhatia
  • Department of Human Services: Roberto Gutierrez
  • Oregon Department of Agriculture: Sunny Summers
  • Oregon Employment Department: Jim Pfarrer
  • Oregon Health Authority: Gabriela Goldfarb
  • Oregon Housing and Community Services: Timothy Mahern-Macias
  • Office of the State Fire Marshal/Oregon State Police: Chad Hawkins​

Agency overview

Programs that affect agricultural workers

Fair Housing Enforcement in the BOLI Civil Rights Division encourages compliance with the fair housin​g law through outreach and education to the following people:

  • Landlords, property managers, and employers about their responsibilities
  • Workers about their rights

BOLI will have a dedicated technical area expert to help housing providers understand and comply with fair housing laws and regulations. BOLI has jurisdiction to investigate alleged housing discrimination and enforce compliance. Two investigators focus on farmworker housing.

Also, BOLI:

Filing a complaint

If you have possibly experienced discrimination in housing based upon race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, familial status, source of income or disability, you can file a complaint.



Agency contact information

Michael Sterner
Fair Housing Enforcement Manager
Civil Rights Division
Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries
800 NE Oregon St.
Portland, OR 97232
971-353-7162 (direct call/fax)
503-432-5781 (text only)​


Programs that affect agricultural workers

The division is responsible for codes that govern all new construction, including agricultural lab​or housing. The Building Codes Division has standards on permitting, fees, and rehabilitation standards. These standards are located in Oregon Administrative Rule 918-450-0005.

Filing a complaint

BCD does not have a complaint process unique to agricultural labor housing. BCD does enforce trade licensing requirements, primarily for electricians and plumbers, throughout the state. File a complaint online or by email to

Agency contact information

General contact information

1535 Edgewater St. NW
Salem, OR 97304

​Programs that affect agricultural workers

The Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers is the state office that serves as an independent advocate for workers. The Ombuds program provides assistance to workers, helping them understand their rights, protections, and responsibilities related to safety in the workplace and the workers' compensation system.

File a complaint

Workers can contact the Ombuds team any time by phone or email. In-person meetings available by appointment.

Agency contact information​

Ombuds Office for Oregon Workers
Phone: 800-927-1271 (toll-free) or 503-378-3351

Programs that affect agricultural workers

Oregon OSHA, which has jurisdiction over most employers in Oregon, provides safety and health protections to most workers in the state. Additionally, Oregon OSHA has jurisdiction over employer-provided housing when the housing is provided as a condition of employment. This housing must meet Oregon OSHA requirements, and most of the agriculture labor housing facilities in Oregon are required to be registered based on the number of occupants at the location.

Filing a complaint​

Contact us if you are an employee, housing occupant, or a concerned customer in Oregon and want to report hazards at a worksite or employer provided housi​ng.

You can also file a complaint about an unsafe workplace by visiting one of the field offices, or contacting them via phone.

Agency contact information

Renée Stapleton

Programs that affect agricultural workers

Note: The programs below may have a link to agricultural labor housing, but are not created solely for that purpose.

DEQ air quality
DEQ land quality
DEQ water quality

Filing a complaint

DEQ pollution complaints:
  • Emergencies: Report spills of oil or releases of hazardous materials that pose a significant threat to human health or the environment, and other emergencies, to the Oregon Emergency Response System: 800-452-0311 (toll-free).
  • Nonemergencies:
    • Online
      Form available in English and Spanish
    • Leave a voicemail: 888-997-7888 (toll-free)
NOTE: DEQ does not take complaints for:
  • Lane County Air Quality – contact Lane Regional Air Protection Authority
  • From hemp farms – contact Oregon Department of Agriculture
  • From marijuana (cannabis) farms – contact Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Agency contact information

General contact information

Contact for Interagency Task Force

Annalisa Bhatia​

Programs that affect agricultural workers

Pesticide Program

Pesticide Analytical and Response Center (PARC)

The Pesticide Analytical and Response Center is mandated to perform the following activities with regard to pesticide-related incidents in Oregon that have suspected health or environmental effects:

  • Collect incident information
  • Mobilize expertise for investigations
  • Identify trends and patterns of problems
  • Make policy or other recommendations for action
  • Report results of investigations
  • Prepare activity reports for each legislative session

PARC does not have regulatory authority. Its primary function is to coordinate investigations to collect and analyze information about reported incidents.

Filing a complaint

When questions or concerns arise about potential pesticide misuse or exposure to humans, it’s best to contact us as soon as possible. Many environmental and pesticide concerns are time-sensitive. If Oregon Departm​ent of Agriculture staff are unable to gather samples and document conditions immediately, we may miss the opportunity. Providing as much detailed information as you can helps us provide a timely response, assists us in conducting a thorough assessment, and allows us to coordinate with other appropriate agencies.

ODA Pesticide and Fertilizer complaint webpage

You can file a complaint in several ways, including:

English handout

Spanish handout​​​

Agency contact information


635 Capitol St. NE
Salem, OR 97301-2532

Programs that affect agricultural workers

General fire and life safety requirements and recommendations

Filing a complaint

When there are Oregon Fire Code concerns or issues (private residences are exempt from the Oregon Fire Code) email or call using the information below.

Agency contact information

Fire and Life Safety Division​
3565 Trelstad Ave SE
Salem, OR 97317