Hiring labor for your farming operation? Use the Agricultural Employer Checklist

Michigan State University Extension has recently revised its Agricultural Employer Checklist. Farms that hire labor should use this document as a general education tool on the employment process.

Agricultural employers of labor in Michigan have a newly updated tool in the form of the Agricultural Employer Checklist, which was revised Oct. 1, 2015 and updated by Stan Moore, Adam Kantrovich, Corey Risch and John Jones of Michigan State University Extension. The checklist was developed in 2011 and revised to incorporate changes that are needed to reflect the hiring process for agricultural workers in Michigan. The document is available on the MSU Extension Farm Information Resource Management (FIRM) Labor and Human Resource Management website, or can be downloaded at: Agricultural Employer Checklist.

The checklist is put together in five sections that outlines the steps used when hiring labor. “Section 1: Employers Prepare to Hire Agricultural Employees” provides what steps should be taken by the employer in this phase of hiring. Section 2 outlines the processes the employer must do “After Hiring Agricultural Employees, Employers Must.” In Section 3, the checklist outlines what the “Employer Must Provide to the Employee,” and Section 4 gives the documents that an agricultural “Employer Must Complete Annually.”

Section 5 gives employers a list of all the “Other Potential Labor Regulations” that agricultural employers need to be aware of, including unemployment insurance, pesticide and worker protection rules, OSHA and MIOSHA regulations, the Affordable Care Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. Finally, a list of references is placed in Section 6 along with links to useful publications that all employers should have on file.

According to Kantrovich, MSU Extension FIRM states that this is not a complete list, but one that contains many of the more common items to be aware of, and “always consult your legal and tax consultants about your specific situation.”

For additional information on labor and human resource management, see the MSU Extension Labor and Human Resource Management website or contact your local MSU Extension educator.

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