Calif. Bill Extends Overtime Benefits to Farmworkers

Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012 12:55 PM

By Alec Weisman

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The California Senate has approved legislation extending overtime pay benefits to farm workers and putting them on equal footing with workers in other industries, according to the Ventura County Star.
The legislation passed Monday would eliminate a 1941 law that grants farmworkers overtime benefits for working more than 10 hours in a day or a 60-hour week. Laborers in other industries receive the same benefits for putting in more than eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.
The vote of 22-15 mostly along party lines, with Democrats prevailing over Republicans, will likely be repeated when the bill returns to the state Assembly, which originally passed the measure last year by a vote of 52-27.
The powerful United Farm Workers union pushed for the legislation against the objections of the California Farm Bureau Federation, the Western Growers Association, the Wine Institute, and various other groups representing individual crops.
The state’s agricultural industry typically employs 450,000 migrant workers during the peak harvest months of August and September.

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