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Useful Links

Resources for Agricultural Employers

 

In 2016 Michigan State University’s Labor and Resource Management resource page updated their comprehensive checklist for Agricultural Employers which includes steps in the preparation, hiring, and follow-up procedures that all Ag Employers must consider with special points about potential Labor Regulations employers need to be in compliance with including Unemployment, MSPA, OSHA and the Affordable Care Act. Although some of the content is tailored to Michigan, this is a great overview template to consider.

 

FEDERAL AGENCIES

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Health Protection…Health Equity. Collaborating to create the expertise, information, and tools that people and communities need to protect their health – through health promotion, prevention of disease, injury and disability, and preparedness for new health threats.

Department of Homeland Security
DHS’ duties are wide-ranging, but their goal is clear: a safer, more secure America, which is resilient against terrorism and other potential threats. Missions include preventing terrorism and enhancing security; managing our borders; administering immigration laws; securing cyberspace; and ensuring disaster resilience.

For agricultural employers the most significant involvement of DHS is in immigration and border security issues including a major role in employment eligibility verification (I-9 and E-Verify.)

Department of Labor

DOL’s mission is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights. DOL is the primary federal regulatory and enforcement agency for labor issues. Including the Migrant and Seasonal Workers Protection Act (MSPA)

Key groups and offices inside DOL with direct importance to agricultural employers include:

Although generally not directly engaged with agricultural field work, OSHA has direct nexus in processing and other non-field activities, an ongoing educational program on heat illness, AND direct connection with any/all work-related death and/or illness including mandatory reporting:

Mandatory work-related death/illness reporting
Heat related illness prevention education (English)
Heat related illness prevention education (Spanish)

US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
The EPA regulates and enforces environmental laws including pesticide registration and use, water and air quality, and other issues of direct impact to agriculture.

US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on public policy, the best available science and effective management.

US Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS is responsible for collecting taxes and the interpretation and enforcement of the Internal Revenue Code.

US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
HHS regulates and enforces various public health and services and is the primary regulatory agency for implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2012.

US Department of State (State)
The State Department controls admission for temporary work visas. As of 9/2012 the only legal temporary worker program for agriculture is H-2A, and for some agriculture related (non-fieldwork) jobs H-2B.

Department of State website for temporary worker visas

US Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA is dedicated to the support of small businesses across the nation and acts as a repository of information on employment and business law and regulation that impacts small business, as well as an internal watch-dog/advocate within the federal government to assure that the unique needs and circumstances of small businesses are not overlooked in lawmaking, regulation, and enforcement.

USEFUL LINKS: STATE AGENCIES

National Association of State Departments of Agriculture

National Association of State Workforce Agencies

[National] Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

National Association of [State] Insurance Commissioners

National Council on [Workers] Compensation Insurance

US DOL State Unemployment Compensation Law Information

[National] Association of Land-grant Universities

State and Local Government Websites Online