Maine Employment Rules for Agricultural Workers

Understanding the requirements of labor and employment law is essential in operating a successful farm business. Both Maine and federal law treat agricultural work differently than other forms of employment. Before hiring an employee, it is important to familiarize yourself with the relevant state and federal laws that govern the employer/employee relationship. This guide is intended to inform farm employers about the general requirements when hiring employees.

Arrendamiento de Terrenos Agrícolas

Si bien muchos arrendamientos de granjas se realizan con un acuerdo verbal, esta práctica no es una buena idea porque no hay un acuerdo por escrito en caso de desacuerdo entre las partes. Un contrato de arrendamiento bien escrito hará que los términos del arrendamiento sean claros y dejará menos oportunidades para malentendidos y reducirá la probabilidad de un conflicto entre el propietario y el agricultor.

Documentos Rectores Esenciales para una Organización Sin Fines de Lucro

Hay tres documentos principales que rigen las operaciones de una organización sin fines de lucro:

(1) artículos de incorporación,

(2) estatutos, y

(3) política de conflicto de intereses.

Esta guía legal presenta cada uno de estos documentos e identifica los elementos clave que debe tener en cuenta al preparar documentos rectores para su organización.

A Working Guide to Current Use Taxation for Agricultural Lands

Developed by Vermont Law School’s Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, “A Working Guide to Current Use Taxation for Agricultural Lands” provides an overview of current use policies across the U.S. 

Current use programs—which generally allow farmers to pay taxes on their land at current (agricultural) value rather than its assessed value for another non-farming use—are an important tool in the farmland preservation toolbox. 

Written by Vermont Law School adjunct professor Jess Phelps, this guide explains the concept of current use and examines current use policies and programs. Identifying common challenges and opportunities, it aims to help policymakers adapt current use programs to modern farmland preservation needs. It also dives into a case study of current use in Vermont to explore how a program functions at the farm level, and includes a handy reference guide to state current use statutes across the country.

This guide was funded by the National Agricultural Library, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Reorganizing a Farm Business with Chapter 12 of the Bankruptcy Code: A Brief Guide

Farm reorganization through chapter 12 is a powerful tool for farmers seeking to restructure burdensome debt, change production models, or even transition a farm to the next generation. It can help farming and fishing operations avoid financial distress and allow them to transform their operation or transfer it to the next generation—without requiring liquidation or financial insolvency. This guide covers who is involved, who is eligible, the benefits, and how it works. 

Introducción a la ley de cultivo

Esta guía es un resumen de problemas legales importantes que un agricultor en Massachusetts debe conocer. Incluye información sobre:

  • Cuándo se debe trabajar con un abogado
  • Cómo crear una estructura de negocios
  • Cómo acceder a tierras agrícolas a través del alquiler o la compra
  • Las consideraciones a tomar cuando se hace un borrador y cuando se firma un contrato
  • Algunas de las consideraciones de impuestos para los agricultores

Esta guía provee un esquema básico sobre los problemas legales a considerar para su finca/ tierras agrícolas. Es un punto para comenzar a pensar en ciertos tipos de asuntos. Esta guía no constituye consejo legal y usted debe contactar a un abogado si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre estos temas.

Le animamos a buscar ayuda legal si usted tiene preguntas o preocupaciones acerca de cómo cualquiera de estos problemas discutidos se aplica en sus operaciones individuales. Usted puede comenzar por contactar al Centro Legal de Alimentos (Legal Food Hub), donde proveen asistencia legal gratuita para aquellos agricultores que sean elegibles a través de legalfoodhub@clf.org o llamando a 1-844-LAW GROW. Para aprender más sobre el Centro Legal de Alimentos, visite  www.legalfoodhub.org .

Employment Rules for Agricultural Workers in MA

Agricultural work is treated differently from other types of employment under the law; however, it is sometimes difficult to what qualifies as agricultural work.  This guide is intended to help Massachusetts farmers determine what is agricultural work, what is not, and why it matters.  You will learn:

  • What is Agricultural Work in Massachusetts
  • Minimum wage and overtime rules for agricultural employees
  • Minimum wage and overtime rules for regular employees

Vermont Farm & Food Law

This guide to farm & food law in Vermont is a reference for attorneys, designed to orient you to key legal issues facing farmers in the state. It provides background on small-scale farming and food business practices in Vermont, reviews key food and agricultural laws and legal issues, and provides references for more in-depth information.

The guide contains chapters on the following topics: Vermont farming and the local food economy, business structures, food safety, intellectual property, farm transitions, farmland acquisition, and land regulations.

 

Legal Requirements for CT Food Businesses

Paul Healy and Bessie Bauman of The Yale Law School Ludwig Center for Community & Economic Development provide information on legal issues relevant to Connecticut food businesses.  This guide addresses:

  • Forming a business entity
  • Food licensing requirements
  • Employment and immigration rules
  • Tax filings

Regulations and Insurance for CT Food Businesses

The Yale Law School Ludwig Center for Community & Economic Development provides legal services to clients to promote economic opportunity. The clinic has assisted affordable housing developers, community development financial institutions, farms and farmer’s markets, and many other clients to increase access to resources and break down economic barriers. This powerpoint was developed by Paul Healy and Bessie Bauman. Paul Healy is a second-year law student and member of the Clinic. His legal interests include startup financing and urban development. He also holds a master’s degree in Economics from Oxford University. Bessie Bauman is a third-year undergraduate and research assistant to the Clinic. Her legal interests include welfare law and urban development.

Employment Payroll Tax Basics

The rules governing payroll taxes can be complex. Payroll taxes are generally calculated as a percentage of the employee salary. Farms that employ workers must withhold money from their employees’ paychecks, timely submit withheld amounts to the appropriate tax authorities, and file payroll tax returns with state and federal agencies. This guide outlines what payroll taxes are, and how and when to pay them.  After reading this guide you will know:

  • what are payroll taxes and who is responsible for paying them
  • the different types of payroll taxes spec
  • the special exemptions given to agricultural employees

Massachusetts Farm & Food Law

This guide to farm & food law in Massachusetts is a reference for attorneys, designed to orient you to key legal issues facing farmers in the state. It provides background on small-scale farming and food business practices in Massachusetts, reviews key food and agricultural laws and legal issues, and provides references for more in-depth information.

The guide contains chapters on the following topics: Massachusetts farming and the local food economy, business structures, food safety, farm transitions, farmland acquisition, bankruptcy, and taxation.

Maine Farm & Food Law

This guide to farm & food law in Maine is a reference for attorneys, designed to orient you to key legal issues facing farmers in the state. It provides background on small-scale farming and food business practices in Maine, reviews key food and agricultural laws and legal issues, and provides references for more in-depth information.

The guide contains chapters on the following topics: Maine farming and the local food economy, business structures, food safety, farm transitions, and intellectual property.

New England Food Policy Advocacy Guide

This guide is designed to provide organizations and advocates with information, support, and inspiration to promote policy changes that build a more robust and resilient regional food system. The report is intended as a tool to guide individuals, organizations, coalitions, agencies, and policymakers to pursue supportive public policies and remove policy barriers. It was developed by American Farmland Trust, Conservation Law Foundation, and Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group.

Massachusetts Chapter 61 Tax Program

Chapter 61 programs offer a property tax break for landowners willing to keep their land undeveloped for a specified period of time. This guide provides all you need to know about the Massachusetts Chapter 61 Tax program.  After reading this guide, you will know:

  • description of Chapter 61 programs in forestry, agriculture and open space
  • minimum acreage to qualify for the program
  • types of land eligible for the Chapter 61 programs
  • tax benefits of the Chapter 61 programs
  • what happens if you withdraw from the program

This informative guide was prepared by University of Massachusetts Extension.

 

How to Work with a Lawyer

While there are a lot of legal needs you can tackle yourself, sometimes you need help or information from an attorney. Learn how to work best with your lawyer to get the results you want.  Your lawyer will likely ask a lot of questions at the first meeting. Here’s how to be ready for them, and how to prepare relevant questions of your own.

Rhode Island and Federal Leave Laws

Employment leave laws help balance employers’ needs for a reliable work force with employees’ responsibilities outside work. Leave laws also protect workers by allowing them to take time off without fear of losing their job.  Both Federal and Rhode Island state laws allow employees to take reasonable unpaid leave for family and medical reasons. Whether you are an employer or an employee, it is important to know your rights and obligations under these state and Federal laws. 

Interns, Apprentices and Volunteers-Rhode Island

Many people are curious about what happens at a farm and would be happy to volunteer a few hours of labor in return for the experience of farming.  Others would be willing to work as an unpaid intern in order to gain valuable knowledge and farm skills.  The prospect of free labor is appealing.  But is it legal? Do you understand the distinction between registered apprentices, paid and unpaid interns and volunteers?  This Legal Brief summarizes the legal requirements for these workers under Rhode Island law. 

Copyright Law Basics

Copyright law can seem complicated. But it’s simply a law that says that if you create something, then you own it.  For businesses, copyright can apply to things you use everyday such as graphics used on websites and in advertising or blog content. Get to know how to create and protect your copyrights. This guide examines how to protect your own copyrighted materials and avoid improper use of copyrights belonging to others.

FAQs About the Produce Safety Rule

The Produce Safety Rule (PSR) imposes new requirements on farms to ensure the safety of produce consumed by humans. But New England farms tend to be small and to sell directly to consumers. Therefore, New England farms are more likely to be exempt from the Produce Safety Rule or eligible for a Qualified Exemption.  Qualified Exemption limits the obligations of a farm under the Produce Safety Rule. This Lightning Guide answers questions small farmers may have about the Produce Safety Rule.

Operating a Sole Proprietorship

As the owner of a farm or food enterprise, you choose how you want to operate it. Choosing the right business structure is important because it affects many aspects of your company.  For example, it can influence tax treatment, exposure to risk and liability, and personal control over the business.  New farmers or food entrepreneurs often operate as sole proprietors.  This legal guide discusses the features and obligations of operating your business is as a sole proprietorship.

Connecticut Farm & Food Law

This guide to farm & food law in Connecticut is a reference for attorneys, designed to orient you to key legal issues facing farmers in the state. It provides background on small-scale farming and food business practices in Connecticut, reviews key food and agricultural laws and legal issues, and provides references for more in-depth information.

The guide contains chapters on the following topics: Connecticut farming and the local food economy, business structures, food safety, farm transitions, farmland acquisition, bankruptcy, taxation, intellectual property, and employment.

Cultivating Good Food Policy

This policy advocacy guide is aimed at farmers, food entrepreneurs, nonprofits, activists, and anyone interested in driving policy solutions to make long-lasting change. It is designed to be a tool to help you understand the policymaking process in Massachusetts and how to develop high-impact advocacy campaigns. Using these strategies, you and your allies can contribute to creating policy that helps the food system thrive.