AJP standards require that farms meet all legal requirements for hiring workers. In addition, the farm manager or owners must recognize the right of employees to freedom of association, pay living wages, provide a safe workplace, and refrain from hiring minors for full time labor or exploiting child labor. See Part III for more on Child labor and Hiring Interns.

Note that this toolkit offers only an introduction to legal requirements, not professional legal advice. You and your business are responsible for complying with all applicable local, state, and federal laws.

I. Required paperwork for hiring farm employees

While some requirements vary from state to state, federal requirements are the same for all states. See the list of resources to learn about your own state or review the state’s Department of Labor website. For some states, it is easy to find farm labor requirements; for others you really have to search.

Employee paperwork required by federal law includes the following:

Filling out I-9 Forms


<aside> 💡 ⚠️ **********************************************************************************************Note that employment eligibility verification is a frequent subject of legislative bargaining and debate, so you should consult the most recent Form I-9 for up-to-date instructions and requirements.


Employees should complete Section I of Form I-9 on the first day of employment. Employers should complete Section II of the form within two to three working days. Section III of the form should be completed to reverify employee information, if an employee is rehired within three years of the original employment date or if the previous grant of work authorization has expired but the employee is currently eligible to work on a different basis or under a new grant of work authorization. When completing a Form I-9, employees must provide INS authorization numbers, but they are not required to provide copies of their cards. If employers prepare Form I-9 for their employees, they may ask for the cards in order to verify information. Employers should keep all Forms I-9 for three years from the date of hire or for one year after the termination date, whichever is longer.

Undocumented Workers & FJC