As with minimum wage laws, employers must comply with the state or federal overtime laws that are most protective of the employee. Arizona follows federal law under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regarding overtime and must pay nonexempt employees at least 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek.[i]
California law is typically more favorable to employees than federal law and (with limited exception) requires an employer to pay overtime to all nonexempt employees (including nonexempt employees being paid a fixed salary) who work over eight hours per day and over 40 hours workweek as follows:
- 1.5 times the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in a day, up to and including 12 hours in any workday and the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
- Double the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 12 hours in any workday and eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work in a workweek.
Special Wage and Hour Provisions for California Agricultural Employees
California Wage Orders issued by the state’s Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC Orders) govern various wage and hour issues such as wages earned, hours of work, working conditions, rest and meal periods, overtime, uniforms and equipment, minimum wage, mandatory day off, and reporting time pay. IWC Orders are similar to federal statues, but with important distinctions. Each IWC Order is broken down by industry or occupation. Three specific IWC Orders relate specifically to agricultural employees.
IWC Order #14: Applies to employees involved in farming activities up through harvest (e.g., employees working for growers, farm labor contractors or an agricultural service company).
IWC Order #13: Applies to employees involved in preparation of products for market which are performed on the farm for the farmer’s own crop.
IWC Order #8: Applies to industries handling products after harvest (e.g., packing houses, wineries, etc.).
IWC Order #4: Applies to agricultural employees in clerical and professional occupations if there is no industry order in effect.
Overtime For Agricultural Workers: In accordance with AB1066 (2016) California continues to phase in major changes to its overtime provisions for agricultural employers.
January 1, 2022 was the deadline for large employers (i.e., those with 26 or more employees) to begin paying overtime at 1.5 times the employee’s regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in a day or 40 hours per workweek and double the regular rate of pay for hours worked over 12 hours in any workday. (See IWC #14 for pre-existing overtime requirements, including on the 7th day of work in a workweek.)
January 1, 2022 also marks the initial phase-in of overtime provisions for small employers (i.e., those with 25 or fewer employees). Projected changes in overtime pay for small employers over the next three years will continue to step down until January 1, 2025 when all agricultural employees – regardless of the size of their employer – will be paid overtime on the same basis as workers in most other industries.
Visit the California Department of Industrial Relations’ website for current overtime rates, a schedule of upcoming changes, and important FAQs. Members with questions about payment of overtime may also contact Western Growers.
[i] Arizona employers using a fluctuating workweek method of calculating overtime for salaried nonexempt employees should consult counsel to confirm they are using the appropriate overtime calculation method.