Frank Diehl Farms v. Secretary of Labor
696 F.2d 1325 (11th. Cir. 1983)

Facts:
Petitioners were four Hillsborough County, Florida farmers. Each employed seasonal workers and provided housing.

  • The workers were not required to live in the housing.

Issue:
Whether the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) may regulate this housing.

  • Specifically, whether the Act applies to housing that is directly related to employment, or housing that is made a condition of employment.

Holding:
OSHA applies only to housing that is made a condition of employment.

Reasoning:

  • “In order for coverage under Occupational Safety and Health Act to be properly extended to particular area, conditions to be regulated must fairly be considered working conditions, safety and health hazards to be remedied occupational, and injuries to be avoided work-related.”
  • Here, the court noted that safety of the place where the employee has to be in order to work was central to Congress’ concern. With that said, it held that the “condition of employment” standard best reflected that concern.

Rule: OSHA covers only housing that is “condition of employment” and does not apply to housing which is “work related” but not condition of employment.

Rule: Only if company policy or practical necessity forces workers to live in employer provided housing is the degree of coercion such that the hazards of apartment living are sufficiently related to employment to come under the scope of the Act.