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  • Head Honchos LLC.

Are there any exemptions for agriculture employers under the FLSA?

Updated: Aug 4

ripe tomatoes on the vine in a garden

Yes, there are some exemptions for agricultural employers under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which is a federal law that sets minimum wage, overtime pay, and other employment standards for covered workers. Here are some of the key exemptions that apply to agriculture:

  1. Small farm exemption: Agricultural employers who employ fewer than 500 "man-days" of agricultural labor in any calendar quarter are exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA. "Man-days" means the total number of days that all workers perform agricultural labor for the employer in a calendar quarter, regardless of the number of workers involved.

  2. Seasonal and casual workers: Agricultural employers are exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the FLSA for seasonal and casual workers who work on small farms or in certain types of agricultural operations that are exempt from the FLSA's overtime requirements.

  3. Piece-rate pay: Agricultural employers are allowed to pay workers on a piece-rate basis, where the worker is paid a fixed rate for each unit of work performed, rather than an hourly rate. However, the piece rate must be high enough that the worker's average hourly earnings are at least equal to the applicable minimum wage rate.

  4. Exempt job duties: Certain types of agricultural jobs may be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA if they meet certain job duties tests. For example, workers who perform agricultural work that is incidental to the production of livestock or certain crops may be exempt from the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements if they spend more than 50% of their work time on those exempt activities.

It is important for agricultural employers to understand their obligations under the FLSA and to ensure that they are in compliance with all federal and state wage and hour laws. Failure to comply with these laws can result in penalties, fines, and other legal liabilities for the employer. Contact Head Honchos to learn more.

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