U.S. and Virginia Labor Laws

Federal and State labor laws, as they apply to Agricultural Enterprises, are sometimes different from how the same law applies to other businesses. There are also some exemptions contained in these laws that only apply to Agriculture operations. On this page you will find links to the major U.S. labor laws and how they apply to Agriculture.

The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) provides employment-related protections to migrant and seasonal agricultural workers and is administered and enforced by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. This DOL Fact Sheet provides more information on MSPA regulations.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the federal standards for minimum wage, overtime, record keeping, and child labor. The FLSA has several exemptions that apply to agriculture and this DOL Fact Sheet outlines those exemptions.

Virginia also has laws governing work that youth in the state may perform. These can be found at Virginia Rules and in most cases mirror Federal laws. Additional information can be found on the VA Dept. of Labor and Industry website.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 regulates migrant labor camps and field sanitation in agriculture. The Virginia Dept. of Health issues labor camp permits for Virginia.

The Immigration Reform & Control Act of 1986 and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 govern immigration law in the U.S. These laws contain the requirements that employers must complete a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification for all new employees.

The EPA’s Worker Protection Standards (WPS) is a regulation aimed at reducing the risk of pesticide poisoning and injury among agricultural workers and pesticide handlers. The WPS requires that owners and employers on agricultural establishments provide protections to workers and handlers from potential pesticide exposure and train them about pesticide safety.

Our Agriculture and Foreign Labor Certification Staff can also provide assistance in obtaining the required Federal and State Labor Law posters that businesses must display in an accessible area for their employees.