765 F.2d 1317 (5th Cir. 1985)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
ALVIN B. RUBIN, Circuit Judge:
To meet his harvesting needs, a South Carolina farmer engaged a farm labor contractor to
recruit migrant workers in Texas and transport them to South Carolina.
While the contractor was registered as required by the Farm Labor Contractor
Registration Act …his registration did not authorize him to transport and house workers,
and the contractor committed several other statutory violations while providing the
workers to the farmer. The district court found that the farmer did not check the
contractor's registration, as the [Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act] required,
provided substandard housing for the workers, and did not obtain or maintain statutorily
required payroll records. The court rendered judgment in favor of each migrant worker
and against the farmer for $200 and against the contractor for $500, for statutory
violations [of the Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act]. . .
The court further found that the farmer was not the workers' "employer" under the Fair
Labor Standards Act… and that the workers could not recover unpaid minimum wages
from the contractor because they had not proved the number of hours they had worked.
On the workers' appeal, we reverse the judgment in part, for we conclude that the farmer
was liable as an employer for wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act and that the
workers were not to be faulted for their inability to prove their hours of work. We remand
for further proceedings in accordance with that Act . . .
The case turns on the relationship among Waldo Galan, a registered farm labor contractor
who lived in Dimmitt, Texas, W.H. McLeod and Sons Packing Company (McLeod), a
South Carolina agricultural producer that grew, harvested, and shipped cucumbers,
tomatoes, and beets in Beaufort County, South Carolina, and three families of migrant
workers who traveled from Texas to South Carolina in May 1979 to pick crops in
McLeod's fields at the solicitation of Galan.
McLeod, a partnership owned and operated by two cousins, W.H. ("Mac") McLeod, Jr.
and Claude E. McLeod, Jr., ships vegetables in interstate commerce. The company owns
the land on which it grows its vegetables, the farm implements and machinery necessary
to the growing operation, and a packing house where the produce is graded, packed, and
loaded onto trucks for delivery to market. McLeod directly employs six to eight full-time
tractor drivers, an employee to supervise the tractor drivers, and a full-time mechanic. It
harvests and packs vegetables in May and June of each year, using a seasonal work force
of company employees to operate its packing house during the harvest and packing
season. The seasonal harvesting is performed by two, sometimes three, crews of harvest