No matter how small the farm, the operator must have a workers' compensation policy and comply with other regulations - even if they are getting on-farm assistance only from family, said UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Richard Molinar in a press release picked up by GrowingProduce.com.
If farms are found to be out of compliance, they could be hit with substantial fines. Molinar provided the following example:
A refugee strawberry farmer who speaks very little English was fined $2,000 by Labor Standards Enforcement for not having workers’ compensation insurance for his wife and uncle who work on their half-acre strawberry patch next to their home in Visalia. They sell the berries only from their roadside stand. He was also fined $195 for not having a documented Illness Prevention Program and $260 for no documented heat illness prevention program for his wife and uncle.
The release said growers can find out more about farming regulations by contacting Molinar or his assistant, Michael Yang, in the Fresno County UC Cooperative Extension Office.