Urgent Update: Ag Overtime Bill Reintroduced in Senate

It seemed that we had seen the last of the efforts of Assemblywoman Gonzalez with respect to AB 2757 which would have removed overtime exemptions for agricultural employees and require farm employers to pay overtime after 8 hours of work per day and 40 hours of work per week.That bill failed passage in the Assembly on June 2, 2016.  However, this bill is back and has been introduced in the Senate as AB 1066.  Introduced in 2015, AB 1066 was a bill addressing short-term school district employees which passed the Assembly last year.  Its contents were gutted and the bill was amended with the exact language from AB 2757.  This effectively moved the bill to the Senate even though it had failed to pass.

What’s Next?  Advocacy efforts must be focused on reaching out to Senators now.  This bill has the support of vocal labor unions and it is critical that opposition is equally voiced.  With the summer recess during the month of July, there is not much time.  Looking ahead, the deadline for AB 1066 pass in the Senate is August 31st, and Governor Brown will then have until September 30th to sign.

Contact Senators Now.  Call, e-mail or write to express how this bill will cripple the ag industry.  Visit http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/ to locate the Senator in your district.  Consider contacting representatives in districts that do not have a large ag industry as those Senators are less likely to hear from the people this law will hurt.  A directory is located online at http://senate.ca.gov/senators. All Senators have websites with easy to use e-mail contact portals where you can comment on this legislation and request a meeting to discuss how this law will impact your operations.

Additional information regarding this bill is located here: https://www.myjobdependsonag.com/proposed-legislation-on-overtime-could-hurt-farmers-and-workers-alike/

Faith L. DriscollFaith L. Driscoll is an associate attorney at Walter Wilhelm Bauer and practices in the firm’s employment law group in California’s highest ag producing county. She is also the Legislative Director for the Tulare/Kings County Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. She can be reached at fdriscoll@W2Blaw.com.