Overtime Exemption for Agricultural Workers
lesley1947 17 Posts
I do a lot of consulting to farm equipment dealers. There is an overtime exemption for service technicians and parts personnel in the ag industry - it's like the exemption for auto mechanics in car dealerships. The catch is that these people must work exclusively with agricultural equipment and parts. Some of my clients want to argue that they can apply this exemption even when their people are working on things like bobcats, industrial mowers, etc., since they are working on equipment owned by farming operations or other ag businesses. At audit, I am sure Wage & Hour would disallow this. I am trying to find more information, hopefully, a list of what is considered agricultural equipment, in order to show my clients. I have searched the internet - DOL, etc. Anyone have any experience with this?
This is outside my scope of knwoledge, but I did a quick Google search and found some information that I hope helps. Here are the regs on the farmworker exemption:
You may also want to read a Department of Labor opinion I found. I have copied parts of it below.
"In order for the agricultural exemption from overtime to apply, the workers’ employment must come within the meaning of the term “agriculture” as defined under section 3(f) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. 203(f). The definition of “agriculture,” under the FLSA, has long been recognized as having two distinct branches: primary agriculture and secondary agriculture. The primary definition includes farming in all its branches and specific farming operations enumerated in section 3(f) such as the cultivation and tillage of the soil; the production, cultivation, growing, and harvesting of any agricultural or horticultural commodities; and the raising of livestock"
"The secondary meaning of “agriculture” in
section 3(f) includes “any practices … performed by a farmer or on a farm as an
incident to or in conjunction with such [primary agriculture] farming operations