Protections for Farm Workers
Proper compensation for work done is just one of the many responsibilities employers have to their employees. There are standards to be met in each state that might vary from the federal standards. In most cases, the standard providing the greatest benefit to the employee is the one that prevails if the state and federal standards do not agree.
There is plenty more to talk about when it comes to employee rights and employer responsibilities, but the following statements summarize many of the basics:
- Farm workers must be paid the wages promised, but never less than the federal minimum wage.
- Farm workers must be provided a written statement of earnings and all deductions from pay.
- Farm workers must be provided written information about their wages and working conditions in a language they can understand.
- Safety and health: Any housing or transportation provided by the employer must be safe.
- Farm workers must be provided safe drinking water, toilets, and hand washing facilities at the job–and at no cost.
- Farm workers must be provided a safe workplace.
For further information on labor issues and employee rights, a good source is the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry at http://www.dli.mn.gov/.
Many other labor management related topics are covered on the University of Minnesota Extension dairy webpage at www.extension.umn.edu/dairy, under the “Employees” link.
-Chuck Schwartau, University of Minnesota Extension Educator - Livestock