e-CFR banner

Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 21, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter BPart 780 → Subpart J


Title 29: Labor
PART 780—EXEMPTIONS APPLICABLE TO AGRICULTURE, PROCESSING OF AGRICULTURAL COMMODITIES, AND RELATED SUBJECTS UNDER THE FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT


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


Contents

Introductory

§780.900   Scope and significance of interpretative bulletin.
§780.901   Statutory provisions.
§780.902   Legislative history of exemption.
§780.903   General scope of exemption.
§780.904   What determines the exemption.
§780.905   Employers who may claim exemption.

Exempt Operations on Fruits or Vegetables

§780.906   Requisites for exemption generally.
§780.907   “Fruits or vegetables.”
§780.908   Relation of employee's work to specified transportation.
§780.909   “Transportation.”
§780.910   Engagement in transportation and preparation.
§780.911   Preparation for transportation.
§780.912   Exempt preparation.
§780.913   Nonexempt preparation.
§780.914   “From the farm.”
§780.915   “Place of first processing.”
§780.916   “Place of *  *  * first marketing.”
§780.917   “Within the same State.”

Exempt Transportation of Fruit or Vegetable Harvest Employees

§780.918   Requisites for exemption generally.
§780.919   Engagement “in transportation” of harvest workers.
§780.920   Workers transported must be fruit or vegetable harvest workers.
§780.921   Persons “employed or to be employed” in fruit or vegetable harvesting.
§780.922   “Harvesting” of fruits or vegetables.
§780.923   “Between the farm and any point within the same State.”

Introductory

§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.

Exempt Operations on Fruits or Vegetables

§780.906   Requisites for exemption generally.

Section 13(b)(16), in clause (A), provides an exemption from the overtime pay provision of the Act for an employee during any workweek in which all the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The employee must be engaged “in the transportation and preparation for transportation of fruits and vegetables”; and

(b) Such transportation must be transportation “from the farm”; and

(c) The destination to which the fruits or vegetables are transported must be “a place of first processing or first marketing”; and

(d) The transportation must be from the farm to such destination “within the same State”.

§780.907   “Fruits or vegetables.”

The exempt operations of preparing for transportation and transporting must be performed with respect to “fruits or vegetables.” The intent of section 13(b)(16) is to exempt such operations on fruits or vegetables which are “just-harvested” and still in their raw and natural state. As explained at the time of adoption of the amendment on the floor of the House, the exemption was intended to eliminate the difference in treatment of farmers and nonfarmers with respect to exemption of such “handling or hauling of fruit or vegetables in their raw or natural state.” (See 107 Cong. Rec. (daily ed.) p. 4523.) Transporting and preparing for transportation other farm products which are not fruits or vegetables are not exempt under section 13(b)(16). For example, operations on livestock, eggs, tobacco, or poultry are nonexempt. Sugarcane is not a fruit or vegetable for purposes of this exemption (Wirtz v. Osceola Farms Co., 372 F. 2d 584).

§780.908   Relation of employee's work to specified transportation.

In order for the exemption to apply to an employee, he must be engaged “in the transportation and preparation for transportation” of the just-harvested fruits or vegetables from the farm to the specified places within the same State. Engagement in other activities is not exempt work. The employee must be actually engaged in the described operations. The exemption is not available for other employees of the employer, such as office, clerical, and maintenance workers.

§780.909   “Transportation.”

“Transportation,” as used in section 13(b)(16), refers to the movement by any means of conveyance of fruits or vegetables from the farm to a place of first processing or first marketing in the same State. It includes only those activities which are immediately necessary to move the fruits or vegetables to the specified points and the return trips. Drivers, drivers' helpers, loaders, and checkers perform work which is exempt. Transportation ends with delivery at the receiving platform of the place to which the fruits or vegetables are transported. (Mitchell v. Budd, 350 U.S. 473.) Thus, unloading at the delivery point by employees who did not transport the commodities would not be a part of the transportation activities under section 13(b)(16).

§780.910   Engagement in transportation and preparation.

Since transportation and preparation for transportation are both exempt activities, an employee who engages in both is performing exempt work. In referring to “the transportation and preparation for transportation” of the fruits or vegetables, the statute recognizes the two activities as interrelated parts of the single task of moving the commodities from the farm to the designated points. Accordingly, the word “and” between the words “transportation” and “preparation” is not considered to require that any employee be employed in both parts of the task in order to be exempt. The exemption may apply to an employee engaged either in transporting or preparing the commodities for transportation if he otherwise qualifies under section 13(b)(16).

§780.911   Preparation for transportation.

The “preparation for transportation” of fruits or vegetables includes only those activities which are necessary to prepare the fruits or vegetables for transportation from the farm to the places described in section 13(b)(16). These preliminary activities on the farm will vary with the commodity involved, with the means of the transportation to be used, and with the nature of operations to be performed on the commodity after delivery.

§780.912   Exempt preparation.

The following operations, if required in order to move the commodities from the farm and to deliver them to a place of first marketing or first processing, are considered preparation for transportation: Assembling, weighing, placing the fruits or vegetables in containers such as lugs, crates, boxes or bags, icing, marking, labeling or fastening containers, and moving the commodities from storage or concentration areas on the farm to loading sites.

§780.913   Nonexempt preparation.

(a) Retail packing. Since the exemption, as expressly stated in section 13(b)(16), includes the transportation of the fruits or vegetables only to places of first marketing or first processing, packing or preparing for retail or further distribution beyond the place of first processing or first marketing is not exempt as “preparation for transportation.” (Schultz v. Durrence (D. Ga.), 19 WH Cases 747, 63 CCH Lab. Cas. secs. 32, 387.)

(b) Preparation for market. No exemption is provided under section 13(b)(16) for operations performed on the farm in preparation for market (such as ripening, cleaning, grading, or sorting) rather than in preparation for the transportation described in the section. Exemption, if any, for these activities should be considered under sections 13(a)(6) and 13(b)(12). (See subparts D and E of this part 780.)

(c) Processing or canning. Processing is not exempt preparation for transportation. Thus, the canning of fruits or vegetables is not under section 13(b)(16).

§780.914   “From the farm.”

The exemption applies only to employees whose work relates to transportation of fruits or vegetables “from the farm.” The phrase “from the farm” makes it clear that the preparation of the fruits or vegetables should be performed on the farm and that the first movement of the commodities should commence at the farm. A “farm” has been interpreted under the Act to mean a tract of land devoted to one or more of the primary branches of farming outlined in the definition of “agriculture” in section 3(f) of the Act. These expressly include the cultivation and tillage of the soil and the growing and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities.

§780.915   “Place of first processing.”

Under section 13(b)(16) the fruits or vegetables may be transported to only two types of places. One is a “place of first processing”, which includes any place where canning, freezing, drying, preserving, or other operations which first change the form of the fresh fruits or vegetables from their raw and natural state are performed. (For overtime exemption applicable to “first processing,” see part 526 of this chapter.) A plant which grades and packs only is not a place of first processing (Walling v. DeSoto Creamery and Produce Co., 51 F. Supp. 938). However, a packer's plant may qualify as a place of first marketing. (See §780.916.)

§780.916   “Place of *  *  * first marketing.”

A “place of *  *  * first marketing” is the second of the two types of places to which the freshly harvested fruits or vegetables may be transported from the farm under the exemption provided by section 13(b)(16). Typically, a place of first marketing is a farmer's market of the kind to which “delivery to market” is made within the meaning of section 3(f) of the Act when a farmer delivers such commodities there as an incident to or in conjunction with his own farming operations. Under section 13(b)(16), of course, there is no requirement that the transportation be performed by or for a farmer or as an incident to or in conjunction with any farming operations. A place of first marketing may be described in general terms as a place at which the freshly harvested fruits or vegetables brought from the farm are first delivered for marketing, such as a packing plant or an establishment of a wholesaler or other distributor, cooperative marketing agency, or processor to which the fruits or vegetables are first brought from the farm and delivered for sale. A place of first marketing may also be a place of first processing (see Mitchell v. Budd, 350 U.S. 473) but it need not be. The “first place of packing” to which the just-harvested fruits or vegetables are transported from the farm is intended to be included. (See 107 Cong. Rec. (daily ed.) p. 4523.) Transportation to places which are not first processing or first marketing places is not exempt.

§780.917   “Within the same State.”

To qualify for exemption under section 13(b)(16), the transportation of the fruits or vegetables must be made to the specified places “within the same State” in which the farm is located. Transportation is made to a place “within the same State” when the commodities are taken from the farm, hauled and delivered within the same State to first markets or first processors for sale or processing at the place of delivery. The exemption is not provided for transportation to any place of first marketing or first processing across State lines and does not apply to any part of the transportation within the State of fruits or vegetables destined for a place in another State at which they are to be first marketed or first processed. Transportation from the farm to an intermediate point in such a journey located within the same State would not qualify for exemption; it would make no difference that the intermediate point is a place of first marketing or first processing for other fruits or vegetables if it is not actually such for the fruits or vegetables being transported. On the other hand, where the place to which fruits or vegetables are transported from the farm within the same State is actually the place of first marketing or first processing of those very commodities, transportation of the goods across State lines by the first-market operator or first processor, after such delivery to him within the State, does not affect the nature of the delivery to him as one made within the State.

Exempt Transportation of Fruit or Vegetable Harvest Employees

§780.918   Requisites for exemption generally.

Section 13(b)(16), in clause (B), provides an exemption from the minimum wage and overtime pay provisions of the Act for an employee during any workweek in which all the following conditions are satisfied:

(a) The employee must be engaged “in transportation” of harvest workers; and

(b) The harvest workers transported must be “persons employed or to be employed in the harvesting of fruits or vegetables”; and

(c) The employee's transportation of such harvest workers must be “between the farm and any point within the same State.”

§780.919   Engagement “in transportation” of harvest workers.

In order for the exemption to apply, the employees must be engaged “in transportation” of the specified harvest workers between the points stated in the statute. Actual engagement “in transportation” of such workers is required. Engagement in other activities is not exempt work. Drivers, driver's helpers, and others who are engaged in the actual movement of the persons transported may qualify for the exemption. Office employees, garage mechanics, and other employees of the employer who may perform supporting activities but do not engage in the actual transportation work do not come within the exemption. There is no restriction in the statute as to the means of conveyance used; the exempt transportation may be by land, air, or water in any vehicle or conveyance appropriate for the purpose. Employees of any employer who are engaged in the specified transportation activities may qualify for exemption; it is not necessary that the transportation be performed by the farmer. (See §780.905.)

§780.920   Workers transported must be fruit or vegetable harvest workers.

Clause (B) of section 13(b)(16) exempts only those transportation employees who are engaged in transportation “of persons employed or to be employed in the harvesting of fruits or vegetables.” Transportation of harvest workers is not exempt unless the workers are fruit and vegetable harvest workers; transportation of workers employed or to be employed in harvesting or other commodities is not exempt work under section 13(b)(16). Wirtz v. Osceola Farms Co., 372 F. (2d) 584 (C.A. 5). Nor does the exemption apply to the transportation of persons for the purpose of planting or cultivating any crop, whether or not it is a fruit or a vegetable crop.

§780.921   Persons “employed or to be employed” in fruit or vegetable harvesting.

The exemption applies to the transportation of persons “employed or to be employed” in the harvesting of fruits or vegetables. Included in this phrase are persons who at the time of transportation are currently employed in harvesting fruits or vegetables and others who, regardless of their occupation at such time, are being transported to be employed in such harvesting. The conveying of persons to a farm from a factory, packinghouse or processing plant would be exempt where their transportation is for the purpose of their employment in harvesting the named commodities. On the other hand, the transportation of harvest workers, who have been employed in the fruit or vegetable harvest, to such a plant for the purpose of their employment in the plant would not be exempt. The transportation must come within the intended scope of section 13(b)(16) which is to provide exemption for “transportation of the harvest crew to and from the farm” (see 107 Cong. Rec. daily ed. p. 4523).

§780.922   “Harvesting” of fruits or vegetables.

Only transportation of employees employed or to be employed in the “harvesting” of fruits or vegetables is exempt under clause (B) of section 13(b)(16). As indicated in §780.920, such harvest workers do not include employees employed or to be employed in planting or cultivating the crop. Nor do they include employees employed or to be employed in operations subsequent to harvesting, even where such operations constitute “agriculture” within the definition in section 3(f) of the Act. “Harvesting” refers to the removal of fruits or vegetables from their growing position in the fields, and as explained in §780.118 of this part, includes the operations customarily performed in connection with this severance of the crops from the soil (see Vives v. Serralles, 145 F. 2d 552), but does not extend to operations subsequent to and unconnected with the actual severance process or to operations performed off the farm. It may include moving the fruits or vegetables to concentration points on the farm, but would not include packingshed or other operations performed in preparation for market rather than as part of harvesting, such as ripening, cleaning, grading, sorting, drying, and storing. If the workers are employed or to be employed in “harvesting”, it does not matter for purposes of the exemption whether a farmer or someone else employs them or does the harvesting. It is the character of their employment as “harvesting” and not the identity of their employer or the owner of the crop which determines whether their transportation to and from the farm will provide a basis for exemption of the transportation of employees.

§780.923   “Between the farm and any point within the same State.”

The transportation of fruit or vegetable harvest workers is permitted “between the farm and any point within the same State”. The exempt transportation of such harvest workers therefore includes their movement to and from the farm (see 107 Cong. Rec. (daily ed.) p. 4523). Such transportation must, however, be from or to points “within the same State” in which the farm is located. Crossing of State lines is not contemplated. Thus, the exemption would not apply to day-haul transportation of fruit or vegetable harvest workers between a town in one State and farms located in another State. Also, the intent to exempt “transportation of the harvest crew to and from the farm” (see 107 Cong. Rec. (daily ed.) p. 4523) within a single State would not justify exemption of the transportation of workers from one State to another to engage in harvest work in the latter State. The exemption does not apply to transportation of persons on any trip, or any portion of a trip, in which the point of origin or point of destination is in another State. Subject to these limitations, however, where employees are being transported for employment in harvesting they may be picked up in any place within the State, including other farms, packing or processing establishments, factories, transportation terminals, and other places. The broad term “any point” must be interpreted in the light of the purpose of the exemption to facilitate the harvesting of fruits or vegetables. Transportation from a farm to “any point” within the same State (such as a factory or processing plant) where some other purpose than harvesting is served is not exempt.

Need assistance?