Skip to main content
Oregon.gov Homepage

Agricultural Labor Housing Task Force

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has 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 will focus on three key areas: coordinating compliance, capital improvements, and infrastructure and statewide issues.

Coordinating compliance

State agencies are responsible for compliance with a number of 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 will be a forum for clarifying agency regulatory responsibility and gaps and providing for more coordinated enforcement efforts. The task force will make its initial recommendations to the governor no later than Oct. 1, 2022, and will continue biannually until it is no longer necessary for the task force to meet.

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 will provide a forum to develop a potential policy package for the 2023 legislative session to fund major capital improvements. Among the options are zero/low interest loans, tax credits, and grants. The task force will make recommendations to the governor no later than Nov. 1, 2022, but more recommendations may be generated as the task force matures.

Infrastructure and statewide issues

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

The task force will identify existing barriers to improving conditions and seek regulatory or legislative solutions to overcoming 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: &RDJ0.sr)​

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

Video​ (Passcode: 9X$&bpW6)

Friday, July 15, 2022, 2-4 p.m.

Agenda
Video (Passcode: 8@5aq*Hd​)

Task force members

  • Bureau of Labor and Industries: Michael Sterner
  • Department of Consumer and Business Services: Renée Stapleton (Oregon 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 housing 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.

English

Spanish

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)
michael.sterner@boli.oregon.gov​

Programs that affect agricultural workers

The division is responsible for codes that govern all new construction, including agricultural labor 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 bcd.complaint@dcbs.oregon.gov.

Agency contact information

General contact information
503-378-4133
800-442-7457
bcd.info@dcbs.oregon.gov
oregon.gov/bcd​

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 us 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
oow.questions@dcbs.oregon.gov
www.oregon.gov/DCBS/OOW

​Jennifer Flood
Ombuds for Oregon Workers
503-947-7031
Jennifer.r.flood@dcbs.oregon.gov

 


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 housing.

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
971-719-6708
renee.m.stapleton@dcbs.oregon.gov​

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
503-229-5696
oregon.gov/deq/Pages/Contact.aspx

Contact for Interagency Task Force

Annalisa Bhatia
annalisa.bhatia@deq.oregon.gov​
503-734-4080

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

503-986-4550
info@oda.oregon.gov​

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
503-934-8256
OSFM.FireLifeSafety@osp.oregon.gov​

​​

Contact us

alh.taskforce@dcbs.oregon.gov