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New California Agricultural Overtime Rules are Coming

California Overtime Rules now apply to Agricultural workers

As published in Grower Talks, November 2016

Assembly Bill 1066 will roll out new rules for overtime in 2019, lowering the current 10 hour-day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by 2022.  It will also phase in a 40 hour standard workweek for the first time.  This was opposed by the California Cut Flower Commission, the California Farm Bureau Federation, and others, who contend that increases to the minimum wage would be devastating to companies and communities.

“We are extremely disappointed that this legislation was signed into law, as it will be harmful to farm employees, farmers, and the environment.  Those who work on California farmers will see reduced paychecks and have their lives disrupted as these new worker overtime rules come into play,” said Paul Wenger, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.  “California consumers will have fewer opportunities to buy California-grown farm products that are produced in the most stringent food safety, employment and environmental rules in the world.”

After the California Senate passed the bill in August, Ben Dobbe, COO and senior sales executive of Holland America Flowers in Niporno, California, said the bill could ultimately said the bill could ultimately hurt employees “big time.”

Dobbe explained that “If the bill passes, employees will not be allowed to work more than 55 hours per week in 2017, not more than 50 hours per week in 2018, 45 hours in 2019, and 40 in 2020.”  “We cannot afford to pay any overtime, so we cannot allow any of our employees to work any overtime hours.” 

Compiled with the effects of the minimum wage increase, he added, “the bottom line for our employees, and likely for employees in most other farms, is that they will lose working hours gradually over the next 4  years to a 40-hour work week in 2020.

Our employee time clocks can handle these changes.  Give us a call!