500.70 Scope of worker protections.§ 500.70 Scope of worker protections.
(a) General. The Act provides protections for migrant and seasonal agricultural workers irrespective of whether they are employed by a farm labor contractor, an agricultural employer or an agricultural association, or, in the case where there is joint responsibility, by more than one of these persons. The Act's provisions include standards relating to vehicle safety, housing safety and health, disclosure of wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and recordkeeping. When any person not otherwise exempt from the Act recruits, solicits, hires, employs, furnishes or transports workers, that person is required to comply with the applicable protective provisions of the Act. In addition, any person not specifically exempt from coverage of the Act (irrespective of whether that person is an agricultural employer, an agricultural association or farm labor contractor) who owns or controls a facility or real property which is used as housing for any migrant agricultural workers must ensure that the facility or real property complies with all substantive Federal and State safety and health standards made applicable to that type of housing. (See § 500.132)
(b) Wage related protections. Joint employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which establishes responsibility for the maintenance of payroll records, payment of wages and posting of notices under that law, is joint employment under MSPA for establishing responsibility for the maintenance of records, payment of wages and the posting of required posters under MSPA. In such joint employment situations the responsibility for assuring these MSPA protections may be carried out by one of the joint employers. While under a joint employment relationship all joint employers are equally responsible for assuring that the appropriate protections are provided, the creation of such a joint employment relationship does not also require unnecessary duplication of effort as, for example, in relation to the posting of posters (see §§ 500.75(e) and 500.76(e)) or the provision of an itemized written statement of the worker's pay (see § 500.80(d)). Failure to provide protections coming within the joint employment relationship, however, will result in all joint employers being responsible for that failure.
(c) Transportation related protections. Responsibility for compliance with the motor vehicle safety and insurance provisions of section 401 of the Act and §§ 500.100 through 500.128 of these regulations is imposed upon the person or persons using or causing to be used, any vehicle for transportation of migrant or seasonal agricultural workers. As stated in these regulations, the transportation safety provisions do not include certain car pooling arrangements. Additionally, these regulations do not impose responsibility on an agricultural employer or agricultural association for a farm labor contractor's failure to adhere to the safety provisions provided in these regulations when the farm labor contractor is providing the vehicles and directing their use. However, when an agricultural employer or agricultural association specifically directs or requests a farm labor contractor to use the contractor's vehicle to carry out a task for the agricultural employer or agricultural association, such direction constitutes causing the vehicle to be used and the agricultural employer or agricultural association is jointly responsible with the farm labor contractor for assuring that the vehicle meets the insurance, and safety and health provisions of these regulations. In all cases a person using a farm labor contractor is required to take reasonable steps to determine that the vehicle used by the farm labor contractor is authorized to be used for transportation as prescribed in section 402 of the Act and § 500.71 of these regulations.
(d) Housing related protections. Responsibility for compliance with the housing safety and health provisions of section 203 of the Act and §§ 500.130 through 500.135 of these regulations is imposed upon the person (or persons) who owns or controls a facility or real property used as housing for migrant agricultural workers. Any agricultural employer or agricultural association which has a farm labor contractor operate housing which it owns or controls is responsible, as well as the farm labor contractor, for insuring compliance with the housing safety and health provisions of these regulations. When the owner or operator of the housing is not an agricultural employer, agricultural association or farm labor contractor, the owner is responsible for that housing meeting the safety and health provisions under the Act and these regulations. This is subject to the exclusion stated in § 500.131 of these regulations which provides that the housing safety and health requirements do not apply to any person who, in the ordinary course of that person's business, regularly provides housing on a commercial basis to the general public and who provides housing to any migrant agricultural worker of the same character and on the same or comparable terms and conditions as provided to the general public.