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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of March 26, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter APart 500 → Subpart C


Title 29: Labor
PART 500—MIGRANT AND SEASONAL AGRICULTURAL WORKER PROTECTION


Subpart C—Worker Protections


Contents

General

§500.70   Scope of worker protections.
§500.71   Utilization of only registered farm labor contractors.
§500.72   Agreements with workers.
§500.73   Required purchase of goods or services solely from any person prohibited.

Recruiting, Hiring and Providing Information to Migrant Agricultural Workers

§500.75   Disclosure of information.

Hiring and Providing Information to Seasonal Agricultural Workers

§500.76   Disclosure of information.

Employment Information Furnished

§500.77   Accuracy of information furnished.
§500.78   Information in foreign language.

Wages and Payroll Standards

§500.80   Payroll records required.
§500.81   Payment of wages when due.

General

§500.70   Scope of worker protections.

(a) General. The Act provides protections for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers irrespective of whether they are employed by a farm labor contractor, an agricultural employer or an agricultural association, or, in the case where there is joint responsibility, by more than one of these persons. The Act's provisions include standards relating to vehicle safety, housing safety and health, disclosure of wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and recordkeeping. When any person not otherwise exempt from the Act recruits, solicits, hires, employs, furnishes or transports workers, that person is required to comply with the applicable protective provisions of the Act. In addition, any person not specifically exempt from coverage of the Act (irrespective of whether that person is an agricultural employer, an agricultural association or farm labor contractor) who owns or controls a facility or real property which is used as housing for any migrant agricultural workers must ensure that the facility or real property complies with all substantive Federal and State safety and health standards made applicable to that type of housing. (See §500.132)

(b) Wage related protections. Joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes responsibility for the maintenance of payroll records, payment of wages and posting of notices under that law, is joint employment under MSPA for establishing responsibility for the maintenance of records, payment of wages and the posting of required posters under MSPA. In such joint employment situations the responsibility for assuring these MSPA protections may be carried out by one of the joint employers. While under a joint employment relationship all joint employers are equally responsible for assuring that the appropriate protections are provided, the creation of such a joint employment relationship does not also require unnecessary duplication of effort as, for example, in relation to the posting of posters (see §§500.75(e) and 500.76(e)) or the provision of an itemized written statement of the worker's pay (see §500.80(d)). Failure to provide protections coming within the joint employment relationship, however, will result in all joint employers being responsible for that failure.

(c) Transportation related protections. Responsibility for compliance with the motor vehicle safety and insurance provisions of section 401 of the Act and §§500.100 through 500.128 of these regulations is imposed upon the person or persons using or causing to be used, any vehicle for transportation of migrant or seasonal agricultural workers. As stated in these regulations, the transportation safety provisions do not include certain car pooling arrangements. Additionally, these regulations do not impose responsibility on an agricultural employer or agricultural association for a farm labor contractor's failure to adhere to the safety provisions provided in these regulations when the farm labor contractor is providing the vehicles and directing their use. However, when an agricultural employer or agricultural association specifically directs or requests a farm labor contractor to use the contractor's vehicle to carry out a task for the agricultural employer or agricultural association, such direction constitutes causing the vehicle to be used and the agricultural employer or agricultural association is jointly responsible with the farm labor contractor for assuring that the vehicle meets the insurance, and safety and health provisions of these regulations. In all cases a person using a farm labor contractor is required to take reasonable steps to determine that the vehicle used by the farm labor contractor is authorized to be used for transportation as prescribed in section 402 of the Act and §500.71 of these regulations.

(d) Housing related protections. Responsibility for compliance with the housing safety and health provisions of section 203 of the Act and §§500.130 through 500.135 of these regulations is imposed upon the person (or persons) who owns or controls a facility or real property used as housing for migrant agricultural workers. Any agricultural employer or agricultural association which has a farm labor contractor operate housing which it owns or controls is responsible, as well as the farm labor contractor, for insuring compliance with the housing safety and health provisions of these regulations. When the owner or operator of the housing is not an agricultural employer, agricultural association or farm labor contractor, the owner is responsible for that housing meeting the safety and health provisions under the Act and these regulations. This is subject to the exclusion stated in §500.131 of these regulations which provides that the housing safety and health requirements do not apply to any person who, in the ordinary course of that person's business, regularly provides housing on a commercial basis to the general public and who provides housing to any migrant agricultural worker of the same character and on the same or comparable terms and conditions as provided to the general public.

§500.71   Utilization of only registered farm labor contractors.

The Act prohibits any person from utilizing the services of a farm labor contractor to supply migrant or seasonal agricultural workers without first taking reasonable steps to determine that the farm labor contractor possesses a valid Certificate of Registration, issued pursuant to the Act, which authorizes the activity for which the contractor is to be utilized. This prohibition also applies to a farm labor contractor who wishes to utilize the services of another farm labor contractor (see §500.41). In making the determination about a contractor's registration status, a person may rely upon the contractor's possession of a Certificate of Registration which on its face is valid and which authorizes the activity for which the contractor is utilized. A person has the alternative to confirm the contractor's registration through the central registry maintained by the United States Department of Labor.

§500.72   Agreements with workers.

(a) The Act prohibits farm labor contractors, agricultural employers and agricultural associations from violating, without justification, the terms of any working arrangements they have made with migrant or seasonal agricultural workers. Normally, “without justification” would not include situations in which failure to comply with the terms of any working arrangements was directly attributable to acts of God, due to conditions beyond the control of the person or to conditions which he could not reasonably foresee.

(b) Written agreements do not relieve any person of any responsibility that the person would otherwise have under the Act or these regulations.

§500.73   Required purchase of goods or services solely from any person prohibited.

The Act prohibits a farm labor contractor, agricultural employer or agricultural association from requiring a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker to purchase goods or services solely from such farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, or agricultural association, or any other person acting as an agent for any person subject to this prohibition.

Recruiting, Hiring and Providing Information to Migrant Agricultural Workers

§500.75   Disclosure of information.

(a) Where disclosure is required, Department of Labor optional forms may be used to satisfy the requirements of disclosure under the Act.

(b) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association which recruits any migrant agricultural worker shall ascertain to the best of his ability and disclose, in writing to the extent that he has obtained such information, to such worker at the time of recruitment, the following information:

(1) The place of employment (with as much specificity as practical, such as the name and address of the employer or the association);

(2) The wage rates (including piece rates) to be paid;

(3) The crops and kinds of activities on which the worker may be employed;

(4) The period of employment;

(5) The transportation, housing, and any other employee benefits to be provided, if any, and any costs to be charged for each of them;

(6) Whether state workers' compensation or state unemployment insurance is provided:

(i) If workers' compensation is provided, the required disclosure must include the name of the workers' compensation insurance carrier, the name(s) of the policyholder(s), the name and telephone number of each person who must be notified of an injury or death, and the time period within which such notice must be given.

(ii) The information requirement in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section may be satisfied by giving the worker a photocopy of any workers' compensation notice required by State law;.

(7) The existence of any strike or other concerted work stoppage, slowdown, or interruption of operations by employees at the place of employment; and

(8) The existence of any arrangements with any owner or agent of any establishment in the area of employment under which the farm labor contractor, the agricultural employer, or the agricultural association is to receive a commission or any other benefit resulting from any sales by such establishment to the workers.

(c) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which employs any migrant agricultural worker shall post (and maintain) in a conspicuous place at the place of employment a poster provided by the Secretary of Labor, which sets out the rights and protections for workers required under the Act.

(d) The employer (other than a farm labor contractor) of any migrant agricultural worker, shall provide at the place of employment on request of the worker, a written statement of the conditions of employment. A farm labor contractor shall provide such information in accordance with §500.60(b) of these regulations.

(e) In a joint employment situation, each employer is equally responsible for displaying and maintaining the poster and for responding to worker requests for written statements of the conditions of employment which are made during the course of employment. This joint responsibility, however, does not require needless duplication, such as would occur if each employer posted the same poster or provided the same written statement with respect to the same employment conditions. Failure to provide the information required by a joint employment relationship, however, will result in all joint employers being responsible for that failure.

(f) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which provides housing for any migrant agricultural worker shall post in a conspicuous place (at the site of the housing) or present in the form of a written statement to the worker the following information on the terms and conditions of occupancy of such housing, if any:

(1) The name and address of the farm labor contractor, agricultural employer

or agricultural association providing the housing;

(2) The name and address of the individual in charge of the housing;

(3) The mailing address and phone number where persons living in the housing facility may be reached;

(4) Who may live at the housing facility;

(5) The charges to be made for housing;

(6) The meals to be provided and the charges to be made for them;

(7) The charges for utilities; and

(8) Any other charges or conditions of occupancy.

(g) If the terms and conditions of occupancy are posted, the poster shall be displayed and maintained during the entire period of occupancy. If the terms and conditions of occupancy are disclosed to the worker through a statement (rather than through a posting), such statement shall be provided to the worker prior to occupancy. Department of Labor optional forms may be used to satisfy this requirement.

[48 FR 36741, Aug. 12, 1983, as amended at 61 FR 24866, May 16, 1996]

Hiring and Providing Information to Seasonal Agricultural Workers

§500.76   Disclosure of information.

(a) Where disclosure is required, Department of Labor optional forms may be used to satisfy the requirements of disclosure under the Act.

(b) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association, which recruits any seasonal agricultural worker for employment on a farm or ranch to perform field work related to planting, cultivating or harvesting operations, shall ascertain and, upon request, disclose in writing the following information to such worker when an offer of employment is made:

(1) The place of employment (with as much specificity as practical, such as the name and address of the employer or the association);

(2) The wage rates (including piece rates) to be paid;

(3) The crops and kinds of activities on which the worker may be employed;

(4) The period of employment;

(5) The transportation and any other employee benefits to be provided, if any, and any costs to be charged for each of them;

(6) Whether state workers' compensation or state unemployment insurance is provided:

(i) If workers' compensation is provided, the required disclosure must include the name of the workers' compensation insurance carrier, the name(s) of the policyholder(s), the name and telephone number of each person who must be notified of an injury or death, and the time period within which such notice must be given.

(ii) The information requirement in paragraph (b)(6)(i) of this section may satisfied giving the worker a photocopy of any workers' compensation notice required by State law;

(7) The existence of any strike or other concerted work stoppage, slowdown, or interruption of operations by employees at the place of employment; and

(8) The existence of any arrangements with any owner or agent of any establishment in the area of employment under which the farm labor contractor, the agricultural employer, or the agricultural association is to receive a commission or any other benefit resulting from any sales by such establishment to the workers.

(c) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which recruits any seasonal agricultural worker for employment through the use of day-haul operation in canning, packing, ginning, seed conditioning or related research, or processing operations, shall ascertain and disclose in writing to the worker at the time of recruitment the information on employment conditions set out in paragraph (b) of this section.

(d)(1) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which employs any seasonal agricultural worker shall post (and maintain) at the place of employment in a conspicuous place readily accessible to the worker a poster provided by the Secretary of Labor which sets out the rights and protections for such worker required under the Act.

(2) Such employer shall provide, on request of the worker, a written statement of the information described in paragraph (b) of this section.

(e) In a joint employment situation, each employer is equally responsible for displaying and maintaining the poster and for responding to worker requests for written statements of the conditions of employment which are made during the course of employment. This joint responsibility, however, does not require needless duplication, such as would occur if each employer posted the same poster or provided the same written statement with respect to the same employment conditions.

[48 FR 36741, Aug. 12, 1983, as amended at 61 FR 24866, May 16, 1996]

Employment Information Furnished

§500.77   Accuracy of information furnished.

No farm labor contractor, agricultural employer or agricultural association shall knowingly provide false or misleading information on the terms, conditions or existence of agricultural employment and housing required to be disclosed by the Act and these regulations to any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker.

§500.78   Information in foreign language.

Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association shall make all required written disclosures to the worker, including the written disclosures of the terms and conditions of occupancy of housing to be provided to any migrant worker, in English or, as necessary and reasonable, in Spanish or another language common to migrant or seasonal agricultural workers who are not fluent or literate in English. The Department of Labor shall make forms available in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole and other languages, as necessary, which may be used in providing workers with such information.

Wages and Payroll Standards

§500.80   Payroll records required.

(a) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which employs any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker shall make and keep the following records with respect to each worker including the name, permanent address, and Social Security number:

(1) The basis on which wages, are paid;

(2) The number of piecework units earned, if paid on a piecework basis;

(3) The number of hours worked;

(4) The total pay period earnings;

(5) The specific sums withheld and the purpose of each sum withheld; and

(6) The net pay.

(b) Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which employs any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker shall preserve all payroll records with respect to each such worker for a period of three years.

(c) When a farm labor contractor furnishes any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker, and the farm labor contractor is the employer, the farm labor contractor must furnish the agricultural employer, agricultural association or other farm labor contractor to whom the workers are furnished, a copy of all payroll records required under paragraph (a) of this section which the farm labor contractor has made regarding such worker for that place of employment. The person receiving such records shall maintain them for a period of three years.

(d) In addition to making records of this payroll information, the farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association shall provide each migrant or seasonal agricultural worker employed with an itemized written statement of this information at the time of payment for each pay period which must be no less often than every two weeks (or semi-monthly). Such statement shall also include the employer's name, address, and employer identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. This responsibility does not require needless duplication such as would occur if each provided the worker with a written itemized statement for the same work.

§500.81   Payment of wages when due.

Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association which employs any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker must pay the wages owed such worker when due. In meeting this responsibility, the farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association shall pay the worker no less often than every two weeks (or semi-monthly).

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