The California Assembly sent a contentious new bill that would dramatically expand overtime rules for farmworkers. It is unclear if the Governor will sign off on the measure as it is vigorously opposed by business and farming groups. Workers in California have enjoyed overtime benefits for years. The typical employee receives overtime (time and a half pay) when they work more than 8 hours in a day or more than 40 in a week. They receive double-pay if they work more than 12 hours in a single day.
But these overtime rules do not apply to farmworkers. Farm laborers only receive overtime if they work more than 10 hours a day or more than 60 hours in a week. Farm laborers argue that they are exploited by farm owners.
Conversely, business owners feared the repercussions on smaller farm owners. It is believed that it could lead to uncollected crops and the shutdown of small farm owners. This, in turn, argues business groups, will lead to less employment by farm workers.
Moreover, business groups argue that farm workers do not work in typical 8-hour shifts and that agricultural labor requirements change through the seasons.
If you believe that your employer improperly denies you overtime pay, then you may want to speak with an attorney. You might have rights under both federal and state law against your employer. A lawyer can walk you through the various legal strategies from administrative petitions to filing a lawsuit. Which option you choose will depend on your particular situation. An attorney can guide you through the process to ensure that you select the best choice for you.