Labor Laws and Management

Employment Laws and Policies

CISA logo for resources  Employment Laws for Massachusetts Farms
The rules and regulations surrounding wages, overtime, breaks, and other labor requirements vary from state to state, and often state law is not aligned with federal law. The following resources are designed to help farmers in Massachusetts ensure that they are adhering to applicable laws:

CISA logo for resources  Employee Manual Generator for MA Farms
This employee manual generator will walk you through the steps to develop an effective and legally sound employee manual for your farm.

Legal Food Hub: Employment Law Guidance for Massachusetts Farmers
This handbook, prepared by attorneys at Conn Kanavaugh in 2017, is another helpful resource outlining legal issues related to employment that Massachusetts farmers should consider.

Human Resources Management

CISA logo for resourcesCalculating the Cost of a MA Farm Employee
This Google sheet helps farmers estimate the complete cost of hiring a farm employee in MA. Make a copy of the sheet, enter your own numbers, and the sheet will automatically calculate the total cost of the employee.

Cornell’s Agricultural Workforce Development Website
This website offers advice on a range of agricultural employee management topics, including employee onboarding, training and performance management, and more.

Creating Positive Workplaces: A Guidebook for Dairy Producers
This guidebook offers practical tools for use on dairy and other farms to improve workplace communication with a culturally diverse workforce. It is based on research by the Cornell Farmworker Program and Cornell Cooperative Extension that engaged NY dairy farm owners and workers in discussions of how to create greater stability and satisfaction in the workplace.

Employee HiCISA logo for resourcesring and Management

Tips from farmers and others on hiring, organizing, managing, and evaluating employees.

Farm Labor Dashboard
Being able to effectively recruit, hire, train and retain workers is a critical management skill. This University of Vermont website contains tips, tools and techniques to get you on the right track, including a job description generator and a hiring readiness self-assessment.

  CISA logo for resourcesH-2A Decision-Making Guide

Walks farmers through the pros and cons of the H-2A program, which is a federal program that brings non-immigrant foreign laborers into the country for agricultural work.   

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture under award 2015-49200-24225 and 2018-70027-28588.

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