California Legislators Seek to Normalize Overtime Hours for Farm Workers

California Legislators Seek to Normalize Overtime Hours for Farm Workers

LOS ANGELES — The California General Assembly will soon vote on a measure that would eventually extend farmworkers the same overtime pay standards as most hourly workers across the country.

The bill, sponsored by Lorena Gonzalez of California’s 10th District, would make gradual, incremental changes to the state’s wage laws over the period of several years to give employers time to cope with the changes.

Farm and agricultural are excluded from the 40-hour overtime threshold other workers enjoy across the country. In California, the overtime threshold for overtime pay is 10 hours per day and 60 hours per week. Workers can collect overtime in either situation but in either situation the medium pay for an agricultural worker is about $14,000.

Starting in 2019, the daily threshold for California agricultural workers will be lowered by one half hour each year until it reaches 8 hours for a single day. Concurrently, the weekly overtime threshold will come down 5 hours per week until it reaches the standard 40-hour national overtime limit other workers enjoy.

By January 2022, both farm workers would enjoy a daily 8-hour and weekly 40-hour threshold as all workers across California do. California is one of only a few states which as a daily as well as a weekly overtime threshold. Small farms employing 25 or fewer workers would have an additional three years to comply with the change in law.

Why are Farm Workers Not Covered by the FLSA?

Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 creating the 40-hour work week as well as mandating payroll recordkeeping and time and a half for overtime. Unfortunately, farm workers were excluded from the FLSA due to political maneuvering by Congressmen from states which relied heavily on agriculture.

Since the FLSA’s passage, some states created their own laws to give overtime to farm and agricultural workers. California did so in 1976, creating the overtime standards which still exist today. The bill has already passed the state senate and looks poised to pass the General Assembly as a similar bill was narrowly defeated last year.

Farm Worker Overtime Pay Lawsuit

Call (855) 754-2795 or complete the Free Unpaid Overtime Case Review form on the top right of this page if you feel that you and and other employees believe that your wage rights are being violated under the FLSA. Our top-rated team of unpaid wage lawyers will evaluate your situation to determine your best course of action to help you seek justice.

Our office will also determine if it is in your best interest to file a lawsuit against your employer. Because strict time limitations apply for filing these types of claims, we advise you contact our experienced unpaid overtime wage attorneys at your earliest convenience and preserve your legal rights.

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