On September 25, 2013, the Governor signed AB 10 into law. Effective July 1, 2014, AB 10 raises the California minimum wage to $9.00 per hour and $10.00 per hour, starting January 1, 2016. The state has released updated California Minimum Wage posters in English and Spanish.

In addition to ensuring that non-exempt employees are paid at least the state minimum wage and posting the new minimum wage poster, employers are advised to review salaries of certain exempt employees to ensure that they meet the “salary basis” test.  For employees to be classified as exempt from overtime, they must be paid on a salary basis and earn a monthly salary equivalent to at least twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment.  After July 1, exempt employees will have to be paid the equivalent of at least $18.00 per hour on a 40-hour work week.

Jason Resnick

Since February 1st, 72 percent of inflows into the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta have been sent to the ocean.

More than 2.8 million acre-feet of water flowed into the Delta, but only  693,000 acre-feet were pumped to farms and cities to the south.  More than 2 million acre feet flowed out to sea.

In an April blog posting, Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Doug Obegi wrote, “How we manage water during a drought has consequences that last for decades.”

That’s certainly true for Francisco Galvez.  Now 35 years old with a wife and six kids, Francisco has been working on California’s farms since he was 17.  He left his home in Mexico in fourth grade to work.  California’s immense and once-thriving agriculture industry gave him economic opportunity he couldn’t find in Mexico.  But now, due to the drought and Endangered Species Act rules that were used to let precious spring runoff flow out to sea, Galvez is out of work and out of money.  He is ready to give up on California.  As Los Angeles Times reporter Diana Marcum wrote in article published today:

“In May, a season when Huron's population once doubled with workers planting and picking, Galvez had found three days of work in two weeks.

The family was down to the amount of his last check: $256. They had stocked up on huge bags of beans and rice. The Mormon missionaries had brought misshapen cupcakes, the cake not reaching to the top of the cups and canned chocolate frosting three times higher. Two family friends had brought over bags of sweet breads and cilantro from their garden.

Galvez and Maya called a family meeting. Galvez said they told the children they would probably be moving to Texas soon.

The 15-year-old, Itzel, said no, she had a boyfriend. The 11-year-old, Francisco, said no, he liked his school. The oldest son, Manuel, said not a word. He only put a hand on his father's shoulder.”

So yes, Mr. Obegi, you are correct.  How we manage water during a drought crisis has consequences that last for decades, for Francisco and Maya Galvez, their six children, and tens of thousands of other mostly Latino farm worker families who have been endangered by the Endangered Species Act.

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