Farm Labor Glossary

I-9 is a form documenting a worker’s eligibility to be employed in the U.S. The form asks for verification of employee eligibility via specific forms of identification, such as a social security card, valid drivers license, or passport. Make copies of two forms of identification for each worker, have them complete the form, and then keep the ID records and the I-9 on file. You do not need to file the I-9 with the government unless employee eligibility is ever called into question.

The H-2A program allows farmers to bring non-immigrant foreign workers into the U.S to work seasonal or temporary agricultural jobs. Farmers have to submit a petition to participate in the program, and must be able to demonstrate that they have attempted to fill the jobs with U.S workers without success, and that the employment of alien workers will not have negative impacts on U.S workers. The H-2A program is regulated with respect to wages, housing, transportation, and other requirements. These regulations are enforced by the US Department of Labor. For more information on the H-2A program, click here.

W-2 is a form documenting the total wages and tax witholdings that you paid for each employee. It is the form farmers will complete at the end of the year, providing a copy to the employee and a copy to the IRS and the Social Security Administration.

W-4 is a form workers use to claim their total witholdings, and will be used by the farmer to inform tax, Social Security, and Medicare with holdings from each employee paycheck. The form should be completed by each employee at the start of employment, a copy should be filed on the farm, and a copy should be filed with the IRS. Form NC-4 serves the same purpose but is for the state of North Carolina, and should be filed on each employee in addition to their Federal form W-4.