Employer and Migrant Labor Contractor Information

NOTE: Information on Emergency Rule 2109 Providing Protections for Migrant Workers from COVID-19 can be found on the Migrant Labor Law webpage.

The Department of Workforce Development (DWD)'s Bureau of Job Service administers Wisconsin's migrant laws. Wis. Stat. §§ 103.90 to 103.97 and Wis. Admin. Code Ch. DWD 301 govern the use of agricultural migrant labor in Wisconsin. Below is some information to assist employer and migrant labor contractors comply with Wisconsin's state migrant law.

A migrant worker is any person who meets all the following:

  • Temporarily leaves a principal place of residence that is outside of Wisconsin;
  • Comes to Wisconsin for not more than 10 months in a year;
  • For seasonal employment; and
  • The employment is in the planting, cultivating, raising, harvesting, handling, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading or storing of any agricultural or horticultural commodity in its unmanufactured state.

State Migrant Law Applies to:

  • Any employer in planting, cultivating, raising, harvesting, handling, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading or storing of any agricultural or horticultural commodity who hires migrant workers Wis. Stat. § 103.90(2)
  • A migrant labor contractor (and their employees/agents) who recruits, solicits, hires, or furnishes migrant workers on behalf of an employer. Wis. Stat. § 103.90(4)

Migrant Worker Written Recruiting Disclosure Statements and Worker Agreements

All employers or migrant labor contractor who recruit or hire migrant workers must provide the following:

1. Written Recruiting Disclosure Statements

Migrant workers must be provided a written recruiting disclosure statement at the time of their recruitment. Wis Stat §103.915(1)(a)

  • The written recruiting disclosure statement must include the same information that is required in a work agreement.
    • It can be provided via email, fax, mail, text, etc.
  • The employer/contractor must keep a copy of the written recruiting disclosure for each migrant worker and have it available upon request for inspection.
    • In 2020, DWD introduced the Written Disclosure Statement Verification (DETB-18754-S) form. This form is NOT a substitute for a written recruiting disclosure statement.
    • The Written Disclosure Statement Verification (DETB-18754) is a verification form that may be used by employers to demonstrate that they provided migrant workers with the written recruiting disclosure at the time of recruitment. The written recruiting disclosure statement provided at the time of recruitment must be attached to it the DET-18754.
      • If a Written Disclosure Statement Verification (DETB-18754) form is used, both the form and the written disclosure statement it must also be available upon request for inspection.

2. Migrant Work Agreements

Migrant workers must be provided a written work agreement that is signed by the employer and by each migrant worker or head of a family, if a family is employed at the time of hire.

  • The worker agreement must include all information specified under Wis Stat §103.915.
  • The terms of the work agreement must be equal to or greater than what was provided on the written recruiting disclosure statement.

Migrant Labor Contractors and Employees/Agents of Migrant Labor Contractors

A migrant labor contractor is any person or business who recruits, solicits, hires, or furnishes migrant workers, excluding members of the contractor's immediate family, on behalf of another person or employer for employment in Wisconsin. This does not include an employer or any full-time regular employees of an employer who engages in any such activity for the purpose of supplying workers solely for the employer's own operation. However, if an employer hires staff part-time to recruit, solicit, hire, or furnish migrant workers, the staff must register as a migrant labor contractor.

All migrant labor contractors must register and be certified to conduct business in Wisconsin. Migrant labor contractors can register as an individual or as a business, LLC, corporation, etc.

Employees/agents doing work on behalf of a migrant labor contractor must also apply with DWD to receive an "Agent Identification Card." Employees/Agents of a migrant labor contractor must meet the same application requirements but do not have to pay the registration fee.

Migrant Labor Contractor Certification

To obtain certification, mail or email the following items to the Department of Workforce Development:

Any updates to the information provided on the Application for Migrant Labor Contractor and Employee/Agent of Migrant Labor Contractor (DETM-5234), including contracting with additional employers, using additional vehicles, performing additional activities as it relates to migrant labor, etc., must be provided to the Department and approved before updates may take effect.

Employee/Agent of Migrant Labor Contractor Application

To obtain certification, mail or email the following items to the Department of Workforce Development:

Mailing address:
Department of Workforce Development
Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Programs
Dane County Job Service
1819 Aberg Avenue, Ste. C, Madison, WI 53704

Email: MSFW@dwd.wisconsin.gov

Migrant Labor Camp Operator Certification

A migrant labor camp is any site and structures maintained as living quarters for any migrant worker or any other person, who is not related or married to the employer, who travels to another location to accept seasonal agricultural employment as defined in Wis. Stat. § 103.90(3)(a). Per Wis. Stat. § 103.92(1), any person maintaining a migrant labor camp, including employers, business owners, and migrant labor contractors must apply for a certificate to operate.

  • All migrant labor camp operators must apply and pay application fee annually by April 1.
  • New camps must be certified 30 days prior to opening of the new camp.

Steps to Certify a Migrant Labor Camp

  1. Complete the DETM-4849: Application for Permit to Operate a Migrant Labor Camp by April 1
    1. Pay application fee of $50
      1. Applications postmarked after April 1 require an application fee of $100
    2. Mail application and fee to:
      • Department of Workforce Development
        Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Programs
        Dane County Job Service
        1819 Aberg Avenue, Ste. C, Madison, WI 53704

  2. Pass the migrant labor camp inspection
    1. DWD Migrant Labor Law Inspectors will contact the Migrant Labor Camp Operator after the application and payment have been received to schedule an inspection
    2. Migrant labor camp must meet the requirements under Wis. Admin. Code § DWD 301.07
  3. DWD will issue Camp Certification

Need an Alternate Format?

If you have comments regarding any documents on DET's website or need an alternate format, you may contact us via email at: detweb@dwd.wisconsin.gov