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elaws - employment laws assistance for workers and small businesses - FirstStep Poster Advisor

You have requested information regarding the following Poster(s):

The poster is required under the following law(s):

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA)

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) safeguards most migrant and seasonal agricultural workers in their interactions with farm labor contractors, agricultural employers, agricultural associations, and providers of migrant housing. However, some farm labor contractors, agricultural employers, agricultural associations, and providers of migrant housing are exempt from MSPA under limited circumstances.

Every non-exempt farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association has several obligations under MSPA including:

  • Disclosing the terms and conditions of employment to each migrant worker inwriting;
  • Paying wages owed when due and providing each worker with an itemized statement of earnings and deductions;
  • Ensuring housing and vehicles, if provided, meet federal safety and health standards.

The Employment Standards Administrationís Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces MSPA.

Poster Requirements

Posters. Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association, that is subject to the MSPA and that employs any migrant or seasonal agricultural worker is required to post a poster explaining the rights and protections for workers required under the MSPA, such as the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) poster.

The poster must be posted in a conspicuous place at each place of employment. There are English/Spanish(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/mspaensp.htm), English/Haitian(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/mspaencr.htm), English/Vietnamese,(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/mspaenViet.pdf) and English/Hmong(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/posters/mspaenHmong.pdf) versions of the poster, all of which can be printed from the Web.

There are no size requirements for these posters. Employers are encouraged to make the poster available in languages other than English.

Notice for terms and conditions of housing. Each person or organization that owns or controls a facility or real property used for housing migrant workers must comply with federal and state safety and health standards. A written statement of the terms and conditions of occupancy must be posted at the housing site where it can be seen or be given to the workers. The written statement must include the following information on the terms and conditions of occupancy of such housing:

  • The name and address of the farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, or agricultural association providing the housing
  • The name and address of the individual in charge of the housing
  • The mailing address and phone number where persons living in the housing facility may be reached
  • Who may live at the housing facility
  • The charges to be made for housing
  • The meals to be provided and the charges to be made for them
  • The charges for utilities
  • Any other charges or conditions of occupancy

If the terms and conditions of occupancy are posted, the statement must be displayed and maintained during the entire period of occupancy. If the terms and conditions of occupancy are provided to the worker through a statement (rather than through a posting), this statement must be provided to the worker prior to occupancy. Employers may use a DOL form, WH Form 521 Ė Housing Terms and Conditions (PDF)(http://www.dol.gov/whd/forms/wh521.pdf), to satisfy this requirement.

Notice of employment terms. Each farm labor contractor, agricultural employer, and agricultural association that recruits any migrant agricultural worker must provide the following information at the time of recruitment, while seasonal workers must be given the information when they are offered work, in writing, if requested. The information required to be disclosed includes the following information:

  • The place of employment (with specifics, such as the name and address of the employer or the association)
  • The wage rates (including piece rates) to be paid
  • The crops and kinds of activities on which the worker may be employed
  • The period of employment
  • The transportation, housing, and any other employee benefits to be provided, if any, and any costs to be charged for each
  • Whether state workers' compensation or state unemployment insurance is provided

Note: If workers' compensation is provided, this information must include the name of the workers' compensation insurance carrier, the name of the policyholder, the name and telephone number of each person who must be notified of an injury or death, and the time period within which such notice must be given.  This requirement in the section above may be satisfied by giving the worker a photocopy of any workers' compensation notice required by state law.

Payroll statements for workers. In addition to making records of payroll information (see Recordkeeping section below), the farm labor contractor, agricultural employer and agricultural association must provide each migrant or seasonal agricultural worker a written statement of this information. This information must be provided at the time of payment for each pay period which must be no less often than every two weeks (or semi-monthly). In addition to the payroll information specified below, such statement shall also include the employer's name, address, and employer identification number assigned by the Internal Revenue Service. In the case of a worker who is jointly employed, only one of the two joint employers needs to provide a written statement to the workers.

Responsibilities of Joint Employers. Agricultural employers who use the services of a farm labor contractor are almost always in a situation of joint employment with the contractor in regard to the employees.  Joint employment means that an individual is employed by two or more persons at the same time. Where a joint employment relationship exists, each of the employers must ensure that the employee receives all employment-related rights granted by the MSPA, such as accurate and timely disclosure of the terms and conditions of employment, written payroll records, and payment of wages when due.  If either party fails to comply with the law both parties may be held liable.  For more detail on joint employment see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #12: Agricultural Employers Under the Fair Labor Standards Act(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs12.pdf) and Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #35: Joint Employment and Independent Contractors Under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs35.pdf).

Field Sanitation Standards.  In addition, the Occupational Safety and Health Actís field sanitation standards require covered agricultural establishments to provide toilets, potable drinking water, and hand-washing facilities to hand-laborers in the field; to provide each employee reasonable use of the above; and to inform each employee of the importance of good hygiene practices. For more information on the field sanitation standards see the Wage and Hour Division Fact Sheet #51: Field Sanitation Standards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act(http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs51.pdf).

DOL Contacts

Wage and Hour Division(http://www.dol.gov/whd/)
Contact WHD(http://www.dol.gov/whd/contactform.asp)
Tel: 1-866-4USWAGE (1-866-487-9243); TTY: 1-877-889-5627


For questions on other DOL laws, please call DOL's Toll-Free Help Line at 1-866-4-USA-DOL (1-866-487-2365). Live assistance is available in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time. Additional service is available in more than 140 languages through a translation service.