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Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter BPart 780Subpart J → Subject Group

Title 29: Labor
Subpart J—Employment in Fruit and Vegetable Harvest Transportation; Exemption From Overtime Pay Requirements Under Section 13(b)(16)


§780.900   Scope and significance of interpretative bulletin.

Subpart A of this part 780 and this subpart J together constitute the official interpretative bulletin of the Department of Labor with respect to the meaning and application of section 13(b)(16) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended. This section provides exemption from the overtime pay provisions of the Act for employees engaging in specified transportation activities when fruits and vegetables are harvested. As appears more fully in subpart A of this part, interpretations in this bulletin with respect to the provisions of the Act discussed are official interpretations upon which reliance may be placed and which will guide the Secretary of Labor and the Administrator in the performance of their duties under the Act. The general exemption provided in sections 13(a)(6) and 13(b)(12) of the Act for employees employed in agriculture, are not discussed in this subpart except in their relation to section 13(b)(16). The meaning and application of these exemptions are fully considered in subparts D and E, respectively, of this part 780.

§780.901   Statutory provisions.

Section 13(b)(16) of the Act exempts from the overtime provisions of section 7:

Any employee engaged (A) in the transportation and preparation for transportation of fruits or vegetables, whether or not performed by the farmer, from the farm to a place of first processing or first marketing within the same State, or (B) in transportation, whether or not performed by the farmer, between the farm and any point within the same State of persons employed or to be employed in the harvesting of fruits or vegetables.

§780.902   Legislative history of exemption.

Since the language of section 13(b)(16) and its predecessor, section 13(a)(22) is identical, the legislative history of former section 13(a)(22) still retains its pertinency and vitality. The former section 13(a)(22) was added to the Act by the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of 1961. The original provision in the House-passed bill was in the form of an amendment to the Act's definition of agriculture. It would have altered the effect of holdings of the courts that operations such as those described in the amendment are not within the agriculture exemption provided by section 13(a)(6) when performed by employees of persons other than the farmer. (Chapman v. Durkin, 214 F. 2d 360, certiorari denied 348 U.S. 897; Fort Mason Fruit Co. v. Durkin, 214 F. 2d 363, certiorari denied, 348 U.S. 897.) The amendment was offered to exempt operations which, in the sponsor's view, were meant to be exempt under the original Act. (See 107 Cong. Rec. (daily ed.) p. 4523.) The Conference Committee, in changing the provision to make it a separate exemption made it clear that is was “not intended by the committee of conference to change by this exemption (for the described transportation employees) *  *  * the application of the Act to any other employees. Nor is it intended that there be any implication of disagreement by the conference committee with the principles and tests governing the application of the present agricultural exemption as enunciated by the courts.” (H. Rept. No. 327, 87th Cong., first session, p. 18.)

§780.903   General scope of exemption.

The exemption provided by section 13(b)(16) is in two parts, subsection (A), which exempts employees engaged in the described transportation and preparation for transportation of fruits or vegetables, and subsection (B) which exempts employees engaged in the specified transportation of employees who harvest fruits or vegetables. The transportation and preparation for transportation of fruits and vegetables must be from the farm to a place of first processing or first marketing located in the same State where the farm is located; the transportation of harvesters must be between the farm and a place located in the same State as the farm.

§780.904   What determines the exemption.

The application of the exemption provided by section 13(b)(16) depends on the nature of the employee's work and not on the character of the employer's business. An employee is not exempt in any workweek unless his employment in that workweek meets all the requirements for exemption. To determine whether an employee is exempt an examination should be made of the duties which that employee performs. Some employees of the employer may be exempt and others may not.

§780.905   Employers who may claim exemption.

A nonfarmer, as well as a farmer, who has an employee engaged in the operations specified in section 13(b)(16) may take advantage of the exemption. Employees of contractual haulers, packers, processors, wholesalers, “bird-dog” operators, and others may qualify for exemption. If an employee is engaged in the specified operations, the exemption will apply “whether or not” these operations are “performed by the farmer” who has grown the harvested fruits and vegetables. Where such operations are performed by the farmer, the engagement by his employee in them will provide a basis for exemption under section 13(b)(16) without regard to whether the farmer is performing the operations as an incident to or in conjunction with his farming operations.

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