After a year and a half of coordinated, sustained marching and lobbying on behalf of workers’ rights by Accident Recovery Legal Center and the California Farmworkers Union, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Bill AB 1066 last year. The law called for amending overtime pay rules for agricultural workers to be equal to all other employees in the state, which was a landmark success for farmworkers. They can now expect to work similar hours as employees in other industries or see a significant pay increase if they go over.
The Previous System
Before the bill’s passing, California’s agricultural workers were only eligible for overtime pay if they worked more than 10 hours in a single day or 60 hours in a week. All other California employees are entitled to overtime pay after eight hours in a single day or 40 hours in a week.
With this bill’s passage, agricultural employees will be guaranteed overtime pay after eight hours in a day or 40 in a week starting in 2022. Overtime pay will match that of other workers: time-and-a-half. If they work more than 12 hours in a day, they will receive double wages. What’s more, they won’t have to wait until 2022 to see changes, as the overtime rules will be slowly adjusted each year until then. The schedule is as follows:
- 2019: Overtime kicks in after 9.5 hours/day or 55 hours/week (2022 for farms with fewer than 25 employees)
- 2020: Overtime applies after 9 hours/day or 50 hours/week (2023 for farms with fewer than 25 employees)
- 2021: Overtime granted after 8.5 hours/day or 45 hours/week (2024 for farms with fewer than 25 employees)
- 2022: Overtime applies after 8 hours/day or 40 hours/week (2025 for farms with fewer than 25 employees); double pay applies after 12 hours/day (2025 for farms with fewer than 25 employees)
A Community Effort
Accident Recovery Legal Center is honored and proud to have had the opportunity to partner with agricultural employees in our area, advocacy groups, and the United Farm Workers Union to support this critical legislation. We stand with our clients who deserve equal labor protections under the law and fair compensation for their contributions to the workforce.