Amendments that were made to AB 1066 are causing significant concern for California’s sheep industry. In 2001, the Industrial Welfare Commission exempted sheepherders from overtime and hourly wage regulations due to the unique nature of the occupation. However, the California Department of Industrial Relations recently removed the sheepherder exemption.
The California Wool Growers Association (CWGA) has expressed concern that the state’s sheep industry may cease to exist if the amended wage order is not addressed. According to the agency, the wage order will result in a 119 percent increase in sheepherder compensation which would create a compensation level that is more than twice the amount seen in 11 other sheep and wool-producing states.
California is the second-largest sheep producing state and is the number one wool producer. The CWGA is working with the Legislature and the Office of the Governor to hopefully add a sheepherder exemption amendment to AB 1066.
Listen to the report below.