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Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Workers

HomeEmployer/Employee IssuesMigrant & Seasonal Agricultural Workers

Migrant & Seasonal Agricultural Workers:


Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) regulates agricultural employers’ hiring and employment activities, farm labor contractors, and associations using migrant and seasonal agricultural workers.

The Act prescribes wage protections, housing, transportation safety standards, farm labor contractor registration requirements, and disclosure requirements.

The Wage and Hour Division administers this law.


The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts agricultural workers from overtime premium pay but requires the payment of the minimum wage to workers employed on larger farms (farms employing more than approximately seven full-time workers.

The Act has special child-labor regulations that apply to agricultural employment; children under 16 are forbidden to work during school hours and in specific jobs deemed too dangerous.

Children employed on their families’ farms are exempt from these regulations.

The Wage and Hour Division administers this law. OSHA also has special safety and health standards that may apply to agricultural operations.


The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers who want to use foreign temporary workers on H-2A visas to get a labor certificate from the Employment and Training Administration certifying that there are not sufficient, able, willing, and qualified U.S. workers available to do the work.

The labor standards protections of the H-2A program enforces by The Wage and Hour Division.


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