Pennsylvania Seasonal Farm Labor Act

Pennsylvania has a vibrant farm sector, and family farms are still a big part of the agricultural picture. These farms often require seasonal help. For example, the apple orchards of Adams County rely heavily on migrant workers during the apple harvest.

The Pennsylvania Seasonal Farm Labor Act regulates the working conditions of migrant farm workers. The act establishes minimum wages and labor hours for seasonal farm workers.

The law requires employers to pay seasonal farm workers the established farm labor minimum wage for each hour worked. Farm laborers aren’t entitled to overtime and may be paid on a piece-rate basis. Minors must be paid the same as adults.

Children in the employer’s immediate family can work even if they are under age 14. Youth ages 14 to 17 can work on a farm during nonschool hours.

Farm owners may establish farm labor camps, which must meet specific standards and are subject to periodic inspection by the state Department of Labor. Various penalties apply to farm labor camps found in violation of the law.

Farm labor contractors must obtain a license from the Department of Labor and are restricted in their activities with farm laborers.

Excerpted from Pennsylvania’s 13 Most Critical Employment Laws, a special bonus report available to subscribers of HR Specialist: Pennsylvania Employment Law.