California Farm Worker Overtime Law Passes [VIDEO]
If you thought you just felt an Earthquake, it was just the passing of California’s agriculture overtime law. Assembly Bill 1066, thought by many farmers to be synonymous with the death of California’s agriculture industry, passed in California’s House on Monday afternoon. The more than 829,000 farm and agriculture workers in the Golden State are now entitled to one and half times their hourly rate after they have worked 8 hours in a day or 40 hours a week beginning in 2019. Even farms with fewer than 25 employees will be required to meet the standard, but they have an additional three years to do so.
A very similar bill was rejected in May, which farmers were hoping would happen again. Instead they are being faced with tough decisions and even tougher labor guidelines.
One dairy farmer said he will continue to seek robotic options to reduce the amount of manual labor on his farm. “California agriculture is starting to go through dying quivers. I'm not trying to be mean or thoughtless here, but it's pretty clear California doesn't care about Ag,” another posted on the My Job Depends on Agriculture Facebook page.
Proponents of the bill said the bill will help sustain agriculture and that paying farm workers overtime is the right thing to do. Those in opposition of the bill sought to underscore the large impact it will have on the economy and on farm workers because of the seasonality of farming.
California Lawmakers Adopt Overtime Laws for Farmers