In a historic move, Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a law that would gradually add hundreds of thousands of farm workers to the ranks of those who are paid overtime after eight hours on the job or 40 hours in a single week. According to a news report in the Los Angeles Times, Brown’s action is the culmination of an intense and contentious political battle in Sacramento this year.
What The Law Means
While farm worker unions have been lobbying hard to get this bill passed, it came as a shock to the agriculture industry, which has been speaking out against the law, saying it would hurt a valuable industry that is already in decline. Assembly Bill 1066 was authored by Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, and calls for a phase-in of new overtime rules over four years beginning in 2019.
It will basically lower the current 10-hour day threshold for overtime by half an hour each year until it reaches the standard eight-hour day by the year 2022. This new law is expected to provide equal protections for the state’s farm workers, 90 percent of whom are Latino and 80 percent of whom are immigrants.
Under California law, a nonexempt employee 18 years of age or older shall not be employed more than eight hours in any workday or more than 40 hours in any workweek unless he or she receives one and a half times his or her regular rate of pay for all hours worked over eight hours in any workday and over 40 hours in the workweek. Eight hours of labor constitutes a day’s work and employment beyond eight hours in any workday or more than six days in a workweek is permissible only if the employee is compensated for the overtime.
If Your Rights Have Been Violated
If you believe your employer has violated your rights to receive overtime pay for working more than eight-hour days or 40-hour weeks, it would be in your best interest to file a claim with the California Labor Board and contact an experienced California overtime lawyer. You may be eligible for damages including lost wages. Retaining the services of an employment lawyer ensures that you don’t have to handle the issue on your own, but with the help of a knowledgeable and committed attorney on your side.