In a defeat for thousands of migrant farm workers, a federal appeals court in San Francisco has ruled that the U.S. government is not required to set separate standards for seasonal employees trying to qualify for pensions. The decision came in a suit filed by four workers who said they had seldom been able to take part in their employer’s pension plan because they usually were not employed for at least 1,000 hours a year. The workers had sought separate pension standards for those in seasonal industries under provisions of a 1974 federal pension law. However, the ap1885692268government, which never issued regulations defining a “year of service” for seasonal workers, did not have to set such standards. The decision means that “people who work all their lives fo1914724718then end up with nothing have to try to make it on welfare,” said Neal Dudovitz of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, who represented the farm workers.