Farm workers | Michigan Radio
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Farm workers

Lisa Hauch grew up on her parent’s farm in Southwest Michigan. Now, she runs it, along with her brother and her husband. At Russell Costanza Farms, they grow and pack cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes — all of it picked by hand.

It takes a lot of workers. And Hauch says every year, about 150 of them live in housing right on the farm.

“Off the top of my head, I can’t think of another business that provides housing for its employees,” she says. “We’re in a unique situation.”

Migrant farmworkers live and work on Michigan farms during the harvest.
Craig Camp / flickr http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission says the state is wrong to eliminate minimum wage protection for workers on some small farms. 

According to the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs' Wage and Hour Division, small farms with fewer than 500 man-days in any quarter of the previous year are exempt from paying the minimum wage.  A "man-day" means any day during which an employee works at least one hour.