Great question, we’re so glad you asked!
If a farm assigns exclusively agricultural labor, the answer depends on the state in which you are located. Most states do not require farms to provide overtime pay for all hours worked over 40 in a week, which is the federal rule. For the answer in your state, check the Overtime section of our Selected Essentials in Farm Employment Law (10pgs) resource for your state.
Does the farm assign any non-agricultural labor? If so, the farm needs to pay overtime, which means 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in the week. Now, are you wondering about the definition of agricultural labor? It’s a bit complex- read the full analysis in our Farmers’ Guide to Hiring Obligations(20pgs) to assess the situation for your farm. This guide will also cover other nuanced issues like how to define a work week.
For support and practical resources that help you design a workforce wage/overtime strategy that works for you, take our Advanced Employment Law Course, an online, comprehensive experience that helps farmers understand and apply farm employment law to their specific situations.
New to farm employment law, not yet a member, or looking for an overview of issues? Try our Hiring Farm Workers Basics(5 pgs), an FAQ-style resource that answers farmers’ most typical questions about hiring workers for the farm. This resource will help you discover what you didn’t realize you didn’t know. It will also direct you to more detailed resources on the issues relevant to your farm. It’s available to members and non-members alike. The other resources listed on this page are available to members.