States Seek To Extend Overtime Laws To Protect Farm Workers

The California legislature has passed a bill that seeks to extend overtime pay protections – such as those contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) – to state farm workers. If passed, these protections could serve as a model for other state and federal overtime pay laws. The California law provides that farm laborers who work more than eight hours a day or forty hours in any workweek would receive overtime pay. Currently, farm laborers are only entitled to overtime under California law if they put in more than 10 hours a day or 60 hours in a week.

A spokesman in favor of the bill stated “”This measure provides the same protections for farm workers that other employees have long been entitled to.”

Currently certain farm workers are exempt from overtime pay under the FLSA and as a result, agricultural employers are not required to pay them the standard one and one half their regular rates of pay for hours worked in excess of forty per week.

Other minimum wage and overtime provisions applicable to agricultural employees include:

• Farm employers aren’t required to pay immediate family members minimum wage and overtime;
• Employees engaged “on the range” in the production of livestock are exempt; and • Local hand harvest laborers who commute daily from their permanent residence are paid on a piece rate basis.

Several other exemptions exist. However, farm employees have additional rights pursuant to state and federal laws including the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.

Hopefully this Bill will be approved by the State of California and more states, such as Georgia, and the federal government will extend minimum wage and overtime protections to more agricultural employees.

For more information or to determine if you are receiving the wages and compensation you deserve, please contact the top Georgia overtime pay lawyers Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.