Updated: Nov 11, 2020
By Sarah Everhart
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The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (“MSPA”) protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping. For a detailed overview of the MSPA, check out this past post and this ALEI publication on Legal Responsibilities When Hiring Migrant, Seasonal and H2A Visa Workers. Another great source of information is the U.S. Department of Labor’s (“DOL”) Employment Law Guide and/or MSPA fact sheet.
To summarize, agricultural employers and farm labor contractors must pay workers their wages when due, and give workers itemized, written statements of earnings for each pay period, including any amount deducted and the reasons for the deduction. Additionally, housing for migrant and seasonal workers must comply with federal and state safety and health standards and a written statement of the terms and conditions of occupancy must be posted at the housing site where it can be seen or handed out to workers. Agricultural employers and farm labor contractors must also use safe vehicles to transport workers. Lastly, agricultural employers and farm labor contractors must inform migrant and seasonal agricultural workers about prospective employment, including the work to be performed, wages to be paid, the period of employment, and whether state workers’ compensation or state unemployment insurance will be provided.
Recent, widely publicized violations of t