The Los Angeles Times (June 2, 2016) reported that legislation to give farmworkers additional overtime pay was rejected by the State Assembly. AB2757 would also have allowed for suspension of the overtime rules if California’s new minimum wage increase is also suspended due to an economic slowdown. Minimum wage is set to gradually increase to $15 per hour by 2020.
This isn’t the first time that lawmakers have attempted to adjust overtime under the California labor law so that agricultural overtime equals other worker overtime in California. Congress excluded farmworkers from wage protections extended to other industries in passing the 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act. California subsequently mandated that farm laborers receive overtime pay if they work more than 10 hours in a day or more than 60 hours in a week.
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez put forward Bill AB2757, which would have guaranteed agricultural workers one-and-a-half times their normal wages for every hour they work over eight in a day or 40 in a week. Working more than 12 hours a day would have meant double pay.
In 2012, a similar bill failed in the California Assembly two years after then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed another such proposal.
READ MORE CALIFORNIA OVERTIME LEGAL NEWS
In California, farmworkers and field-workers remain the only hourly workers denied overtime after eight hours of work in a day. Some workers are also denied rest breaks, meal breaks, and donning and doffing time. Perhaps more overtime claims will arise as a result of this bill…