SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home831. Are farm crew workers employees of the crew leader or the farm operator?

Farm crew workers are employees of the crew leader if the crew leader:

  1. Arranges with the farm operator to provide workers;

  2. Pays the workers either on his or her own behalf or on behalf of the farm operator; and

  3. Is not the farm operator's employee in a written agreement with the farm operator.

If items (A) - (C) above are met, the crew leader is self-employed. He or she is responsible for the payment of employment taxes and for reporting the farm crew workers for Social Security purposes.

If an agreement has been entered into in writing that the crew leader is an employee of the farm operator, all crew members are also employees of the farm operator. If the crew leader does not pay the workers and has not entered into a written agreement, the common-law test (see §§802-823) is applied. The common-law test determines the identity of the employer of the workers and the status of the crew leader.

Last Revised: Sep. 1, 2009