Governor Signs Ag Overtime Bill

Taylor Hillman Labor and Immigration

strawberry picker workers
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the ag overtime bill, Assembly Bill 1066, which will phase in new overtime rules for agricultural employees over the next four years.

The bill was authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez who spoke on behalf of the bill before it passed the Assembly last month. “We know that the report…from USDA that includes quarterly reports, we know that farmers are reporting that the average work week is 42 to 44 hours in all government literature. That the individual worker is making about $16,500 per year. We know that it is much more complicated than that,” Gonzalez said. “I know in California that we are better than the polarizing discussion that this is. I know we will continue to be the leader in equality. We will continue to give a path for new Americans and have them treated like everybody else.”

The bill was highly opposed by California’s agriculture industry. Many believe this will complicate labor issues even more and actually reduce the amount of hours workers will receive.

The phasing in process will begin in 2019. Starting then, the 10-hour-day overtime threshold will be decreased by 30 minutes every year until it reaches the eight-hour-day mark in 2022.