The Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) enforcement position suggests, with exception of immediate family employment, no person under the age of 18 may be employed to do “farm work.” The only agricultural-related work allowed is: “farming operations involving detasseling, roguing, hoeing, or any similar act involved in the production of seed” or in “’Agricultural processing’ mean[ing] the cleaning, sorting, or packaging of fruits or vegetables.”
Under Executive Reorganization Order, E.R.O. No. 2011-4, the youth employment aspects of the LARA Wage Hour Division relative to the Michigan Youth Employment Standards Act (YESA), PA 90 of 1978, were transferred to MDE.
The law has not changed, only the Department’s interpretation. The Act provides: “This act shall not apply to or prohibit a minor from engaging in: (f) Farm work if the employment is not in violation of a standard established by the department of labor. Farm work means the work activity designated in major groups 01 and 02 of the standard industrial classification manual, United States Bureau of the Budget, 1972 edition. Farm work includes any practices performed on a farm as an incident to or in conjunction with such farming operations including preparation for market delivery to storage or market or to carriers for transportation to market…” The Department is apparently maintaining that farm work is “in violation of a standard” and therefore prohibited.
School districts are unsure of proper work permit procedures, or if they can continue with educational activities related to farm production work in conjunction with course work. Migratory and local families are uncertain of youth employment opportunities.
Craig Anderson | 517-679-5350
MFB: #39 Educational Reforms, #42 Michigan State University
AFBF: #135.16 Farm Labor, #136.3.13 General Labor Issues, #145.3.3 Agricultural Education, #146.2.1 Career and Technical Education, #152.3 Family and Moral Responsibility, #184.108.40.206 Safety
Michigan Youth Employment Standards Act, Act 90 of 1978, Youth Employment Standards, Part 2. Hazardous Occupations In General Employment, Child Labor Requirements In Agricultural Occupations Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (Child Labor Bulletin 102), MI Form CA-6, MI Form CA-7, USDOL’s position on Michigan law.