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Work Agreements

Written Work Agreements

Federal law, some states’ law, and the AJP standards require farm employers to provide workers with a written notice that covers basic information about their employment. As mentioned above, federal law requires this work agreement to be provided in a worker’s “language of comfort” and include at least:

  • Place of employment;
  • Wages to be paid;
  • Crops and kinds of activities in which the worker is to be employed;
  • Period of employment;
  • Transportation, housing, and any other employee benefits provided, and any costs to be charged to workers for those benefits;
  • Name of any workers’ compensation carrier (if provided), name of the policy holder, name and telephone number for the person to be notified in case of injury or death, and time period for giving notice of injury or death;
  • Existence of any strike, work stoppage, slowdown, or interruption of operations by employees;
  • Whether the employer is paid a commission or receives a benefit for items sold to workers while employed.

By federal law, day laborers must be provided this agreement in print. Seasonal workers must be provided this agreement in print upon request. Some states have similar requirements: for example, New York now requires a specific form provided by their Department of Labor in a range of languages:

AJP requires employers provide a work agreement that includes the farm name and address, work location, description of work to be done, the period of employment, wages and hours, pay period, deductions, housing and food provided, other benefits, time off, Workers Compensation policy number, and unemployment compensation insurance, if provided. With the weekly pay should come a pay stub listing hours worked, amount paid, deductions and tax withholdings, and total amount paid (Standard 3.1.4; see federal pay disclosure requirements outlined in Employee Paperwork). AJP standards also require that farms hire directly and not through labor contractors (Standard 3.1.9). AJP standards allow for the use of Labor Contractors or crew leaders only under very limited and temporary circumstances, and the farmer is responsible along with the contractor for the terms of employment and working conditions. (Standard 3.1.10)