Dee Jepsen, Ag Safety and Health Specialist, The Ohio State University
The State Safety Office has received questions about farmers being solicited by a poster service, and the mandatory poster requirements for farm operations.
We have reviewed the federal and state regulations and found this IS a labor regulation, and that farmers NEED TO BE IN COMPLIANCE. An informational flyer has been put together to help answer these questions and was sent to county Extension offices (click here for a copy of the flyer).
Here's a summary of the regulations:
- The poster requirements apply to ALL EMPLOYERS in the state of Ohio. So this is not an agricultural regulation, but one that affects businesses that hire employees. More specifically, it is regulated under the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Labor and Worker Safety.
- There are no exemptions for agricultural operations, and the requirements apply if at any time during the year an employee is hired (even for one hour).
Three posters are mandatory:
State of Ohio Minimum Wage (614-644-2239)
Unemployment Compensation Coverage (877-644-6562)
Ohio Fair Employment Practices Law (614-466-2785)
- If the farm hires minors, then the Ohio Minor Labor Law poster is also required. If the farm hires large labor forces (more than 500 man hours in a year) or migrant workers, and/or contracts with the federal government, there are several other poster requirements.
A useful website for farmers to know about is: http://www.dol.gov/elaws/posters.htm. This service walks farm employers through a series of questions to determine their exact poster requirement for federal compliance.
The solicitation many Ohio farmers received was from a service, of which a fee was imposed on the farmers to help get them into compliance for the type of poster they needed. While these service providers are legitimate and will certainly provide the posters meeting the regulations, they may not be tailored to the farm operation. In other words, the farmer will still have to decide which posters to have displayed.
We have also found these posters are FREE from the respective regulatory agency (see telephone numbers listed above). It will require a call to order the 3 required posters, but this is cheaper than the $60 charge from the poster service company.