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Publication #FE390

2017 Handbook of Employment Regulations Affecting Florida Farm Employers and Workers: Introduction1

Fritz Roka, Michael Olexa, Carol Fountain, and Jessica Fernandez2

Introduction

This handbook is intended to provide a convenient reference to the major provisions of the several state and federal regulations that affect farm employers and employees. It reflects state and federal laws as of January 1, 2017, only as they apply to agricultural workers and not to workers considered nonagricultural.

For the purposes of this handbook, the definition of agricultural worker is taken from the United States Department of Labor which states that “agricultural (farm) workers maintain the quality of farms, crops, and livestock by operating machinery and doing physical labor under the supervision of farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural managers.”

The handbook (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_book_handbook_of_employment_regulations) is divided into separate documents that cover specific agricultural labor laws and regulations categorized by subject and by jurisdiction (state and federal). The Table of Contents within this document contains hyperlinks to all the other documents within the handbook. Given the nature of government bureaucracy and the subject of labor law, many acronyms are used by professionals within the labor law community; a list of commonly used acronyms follows the hyperlinked Table of Contents. Table 1 presents a quick reference as to whether a specific law or regulation applies to a reader’s specific farming or business situation. If no threshold is mentioned, then the reader should assume that the law is applicable to every employer and worker.

The Handbook of Employment Regulations Affecting Florida Farm Employers and Workers does not and should not substitute for specific technical advice from responsible state and federal agencies, knowledgeable grower associations, legal agencies, or other experts in the agricultural labor law field. This handbook makes no attempt to cover all aspects of specialized agricultural labor and safety law (e.g., logging and/or forestry operations).

This handbook is distributed with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice and the information contained in this handbook should not be regarded or relied upon as a substitute for professional advice. This handbook is not all-inclusive in providing information to achieve compliance with laws and regulations governing the practice of agriculture. For these reasons, the use of these materials by any person constitutes an agreement to hold harmless the authors, contributors to the handbook, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the University of Florida for any liability claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred by any person as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained in this handbook.

Table of Contents

These documents can be accessed by clicking on the links above.

List of Acronyms

  • ADA -- Americans With Disabilities Act

  • ADEA -- Age Discrimination in Employment Act

  • CDL -- Commercial Driver's License

  • CFR -- Code of Federal Regulations

  • CMV -- Commercial Motor Vehicle

  • DBPR -- Department of Business and Professional Regulations

  • DEP -- Department of Environmental Protection

  • DOL -- Department of Labor

  • DOT -- Department of Transportation

  • EAO -- Employees Assistance and Ombudsman

  • EEOC -- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • EHS -- Extremely Hazardous Substances

  • EPA -- Environmental Protection Agency

  • EPCRA -- Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act

  • ETA -- Employment and Training Administration

  • FDACS -- Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

  • FFVA -- Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association

  • FIFRA -- Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act

  • FLC -- Farm Labor Contractor

  • FLSA -- Fair Labor Standards Act

  • FMLA -- Family and Medical Leave Act

  • GED -- General Education Diploma

  • ID -- Identification

  • IRCA -- Immigration Reform and Control Act

  • IRS -- Internal Revenue Service

  • MRO -- Medical Review Officer

  • MSDS -- Material Safety Data Sheet

  • MSPA -- Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act

  • OSHA -- Occupational Safety and Health Act

  • PTO -- Power Take-Off

  • REI -- Restricted Entry Interval

  • RQ -- Reportable Quantity

  • TJTC -- Targeted Jobs Tax Credit

  • TPQ -- Threshold Planning Quantity

  • UC -- Unemployment Compensation

  • USC -- United States Code

  • USCIS -- United States Citizenship and Immigration Service

  • USDL -- United States Department of Labor

  • WARN -- Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification

  • WC -- Workers' Compensation

  • WOTC -- Work Opportunity Tax Credit

  • WPS -- Worker Protection Standard

Tables

Table 1. 

Thresholds for regulatory compliance (EDIS DLN)

EDIS DLN

Document Title

Thresholds for Regulatory Compliance

FE 392

Child Labor

More than 1 non-family member

FE 393

Civil Acts Laws

 
 

Civil Rights Act (1964)

15 workers/20 weeks

 

Age Discrimination (1967)

20 workers/20 weeks

 

National Origin/IRCA (1986)

15 workers/20 weeks

 

ADA (1990)

15 workers/20 weeks

 

Pregnancy Discrimination

15 workers/20 weeks

 

Genetic Information (GINA-2008)

15 workers/20 weeks

FE 396

FMLA

50 workers/20 weeks and interstate commerce

Fe 399

Field Sanitation Standards

FL: 5 workers at single location

 

US: 11 workers at single location

FE 406

MSPA (exemptions)

Family farm: Farm operator/owner is the FLC

 

Small business: Less than 500 (non-family) man-days/quarter (13 weeks) during the preceding calendar year

FE 407

FLSA (minimum wage, overtime)

500 (non-family) man-days/quarter (13 weeks) during preceding calendar year (required to pay minors minimum wage)

FE 408

OSHA

10 workers any time and interstate commerce (if exempt, only from audits and inspections; every employer liable for injuries and death)

FE 410

WARN Act

100 employees

FE 422

WPS

1 non-family worker on commercial farm (not ranch)

FE 423

Workers Compensation Insurance

5 full-time, or 12 seasonal for at least 30 days

FE 415

Social Security

1 worker (family member over 18 years old). $150/year to any 1 worker or $2,500/year in total for agricultural labor

Footnotes

1.

This is EDIS document FE390, a publication of the Department of Food and Resource Economics, UF/IFAS Extension. Published 2003, revised 2009 and 2017. This handbook is produced and distributed by the UF/IFAS Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law. Originally published by Leo Polopolus. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Fritz Roka, associate professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, Immokalee, FL. Michael Olexa, professor, Food and Resource Economics Department, and director, Center for Agricultural and Natural Resource Law UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL. Carol Fountain, editor, Food and Resource Economics Department, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL. Jessica Fernandez, graduate student, Levin College of Law, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.

This document is designed to provide accurate, current, and authoritative information on the subject. However, since the laws, administrative rulings, and court decisions on which it is based are subject to constant revision, portions of this publication could become outdated at any time. This publication is distributed with the understanding that the authors are not engaged in rendering legal or other professional advice, and the information contained herein should not be regarded as a substitute for professional advice. For these reasons, the utilization of these materials by any person constitutes an agreement to hold harmless the authors, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, and the University of Florida for any liability claims, damages, or expenses that may be incurred by any person as a result of reference to or reliance on the information contained in this publication.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.