The following was provided by Sarah Everhart, Legal Specialist, Agriculture Law Education Initiative, University of Maryland
In the past 12 months, inspectors from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, Wage and Hour Division have been conducting inspections on farms and nurseries in Maryland. These inspections have focused on employers with H-2A workers and have required employers to produce years of required records. Following the inspections, severe fines and penalties have been issued to employers. After hearing about these inspections, ALEI partnered with the Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing Regulation and created some resources to help better prepare farm employers for these inspections. The first is a self-audit worksheet to help employers do an internal review of operations and recordkeeping related to both H-2A and non-H2A employees. The second is a recorded webinar on this subject that is available for download.
Remember: If you have migrant or seasonal workers (non H-2A) you are subject to the federal Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act (MSPA). For more information on this law and what is requires check out this publication and for more information, please contact the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (410-706-7377).
It is very likely these inspections will continue to occur throughout Maryland in the near future. If you have H-2A, migrant and/or seasonal laborers at your operation please take advantage of the resources above and make sure your operation is in legal compliance prior to an inspection.