Getting Work Done Series

Employment Law Basics in Classification and Payroll Issues

Created with SARE support
Rachel Armstrong, Farm Commons | 2019

Only available online

The legal classification of farm workers has many implications, including whether farmers must pay minimum wage, carry workers’ compensation, withhold and pay taxes, and more.

A series of guides–one for each state in New England–are designed to help farmers better understand the legal definitions and criteria for classifying their workers. The guides walk readers through a summary flowchart to lead farmers to initial determinations of which one of four categories their worker(s) fall into:

  • Employee,
  • Independent contractor,
  • Intern or
  • Volunteer.

The following sections provide detailed explanations and criteria for each of the classifications. In particular, each publication outlines legal risks associated with having interns and volunteers on farms. The guides also include basic checklists for hiring farm employees.

Guide for Each New England State

Getting Work Done on Connecticut Farms: Employment Law Basics in Classification and Payroll Issues
Getting Work Done on Maine Farms: Employment law basics in classification and payroll issues

Getting Work Done on New Hampshire Farms: Employment Law Basics in Classification and Payroll Issues
Getting Work Done on Rhode Island Farms: Employment Law Basics in Classification and Payroll Issues

Getting Work Done on Vermont Farms: Employment Law Basics in Classification and Payroll Issues
Note for Massachusetts Farmers:

A guide had been previously prepared for Massachusetts farmers by attorneys at Conn, Kavanaugh, Rosenthal Peisch & Ford, LLP, supported by the Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Program.

Want more information? See the related SARE grant:

This material is based upon work that is supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.