April 7, 2016

California Overtime Legislation Threatens Double Whammy on Farmers’ Labor Costs

The not-so-subtle war being waged against California farmers by pro-labor sympathizers continued in the Assembly yesterday with the hearing of a bill that resets overtime requirements for agricultural employees. Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) authored the legislation (AB 2757) that would repeal the longstanding 10-hour daily overtime requirement and replace it with more onerous overtime thresholds that would incrementally increase daily and weekly overtime requirements over a four-year period.

The bill now moves from the Labor and Employment Committee to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and may move from there to the Assembly Floor. Western Growers will issue an Action Alert to members on Monday asking them to contact their respective assembly members as soon as possible and urge a NO vote when the bill reaches the Assembly floor.    

Advancement of the legislation comes on the heels of Governor Jerry Brown signing the new $15 per hour California minimum wage into law this week, and threatens farmers with a double whammy on labor costs. The added cost burden for farmers creates a harsh economic reality for farmworkers who will likely see their earnings impacted as a result of farmers reducing work hours to stave off ever-increasing production costs. Western Growers and several other ag organizations who opposed the legislation sent a letter in late March to Assembly members laying out several reasons why the bill should be rejected.


For more information, contact Matthew Allen at (916) 446-1435.