Job & Family Services Office of Unemployment Insurance Operations
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Who is an "Agricultural Employer" for purposes of U.C. Coverage?
An agricultural employer is a farm operator or crew leader who:
  • Paid cash remuneration of $20,000 or more in a calendar quarter; or
  • Had at least 10 individuals in agricultural employment for some portion of a day in each of 20 different weeks in either the current or preceding calendar year.

What is considered agricultural labor?
Agricultural labor means any service performed: 

  • On a farm in connection with cultivating the soil or raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity.
  • In the employ of an operator of a farm in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement or maintenance of the farm, its tools and equipment.
  • In connection with the salvaging of timber, clearing brush or other debris left by hurricane if the major part of such service is performed on a farm.
  • In connection with the production or harvesting of any commodity defined in section 15(g) of the Agricultural Marketing Act.
  • In connection with the ginning of cotton.
  • In connection with the operation or maintenance of ditches, canals, reservoirs, or waterways, not owned or operated for profit, used exclusively for supplying and storing water for farming purposes.
  • In the employ of the operator of a farm in handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing, or delivering, in its unmanufactured state, any agricultural or horticultural commodity, only if the operator produced more than one-half of the commodity.
  • In the employ of a group of operators of a farm or a cooperative organization only if the operators produce more than one-half of the commodity.

What is not considered agricultural labor?

  • Services performed in connection with commercial canning or freezing.
  • Services performed in connection with any agricultural or horticultural commodity after its delivery to a terminal market for distribution for consumption.
  • Services performed on a farm operated for profit if the service is not in the course of the employer's trade or business.
  • Agricultural workers who are aliens admitted to the United States to perform agricultural labor pursuant to Sections 214 and 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Who is a crew leader?
A crew leader is any individual who furnishes individuals to perform agricultural labor for any other employer or farm operator and:

  • Pays, either on their own behalf or on behalf of the other farm operator, the individuals they furnished for the service in agricultural labor.
  • Has not entered into a written agreement with the farm operator under which the agricultural worker is designated as being in the employ of the farm operator.

For additional information please contact the Contribution Section at 614-466-2319, or write to us at ODJFS, Contribution Section, PO Box 182404, Columbus, Ohio 43218-2404. You may also contact a local Compliance office.