You did the hard work of finding a great worker for your farm. Now what? What are your legal obligations for payroll and insurance and all that stuff? This part can be incredibly daunting, but fortunately Farm Commons has several helpful resources to answer this vexing question and get you on the right paperwork track.
Check out our free Checklist of Selected Legal Obligations When Hiring a Farm Employee. This 9pg. resource not only tells you what you need to do, but how, why and when you need to do it. You’ll learn about withholding taxes, paying unemployment tax, buying workers’ compensation, reporting new hires to the government, and proving eligibility to work. Also explore the Payroll Taxes Basics, which will help you figure out your obligations on income tax, unemployment, and social security and Medicare withholding. (Note: This tipsheet is focused on Minnesota and Wisconsin payroll requirements, but will provide useful guidance for farmers in any state.)
As you get further along in your planning process, read through the Farmers’ Guide to Federal Employment Law for a more in-depth understanding of the legal mechanics behind having employees. You’ll quickly see that state specific laws matter when it comes to employment law. Browse the most basic farm employment law rules for your state in our one- to two-page Selected Basics in Farm Employment Law for Every State. These state-law supplements are meant to be read in conjunction with our broader Farmers’ Guide to Federal Employment Law.
In many cases, farmers will need to go beyond the Selected Basics series to build a legally resilient employment program. Comprehensive materials are currently available for selected states as follows, in alphabetical order by state: