Following California's Lead Part 2
Washington Policy Center's Madi Clark says the latest worry is California's new law requiring farmers to pay workers overtime ...
MADI CLARK ... "If you were to make agriculture also pay an overtime pay, farmers are going to have to cut back hours and so workers won't actually be able to work 40 hours a week. So not only are they not getting extra hours, but they may not be getting overtime pay either."
Clark says farmers will have no choice but to make cuts ...
MADI CLARK ... "They will just find ways to mechanize. They'll find ways to harvest the crops cheaper than hiring extra workers that cost so much more. So, in the end, it lowers the standard of living for Washington state workers."
So, what should Washington do?
MADI CLARK ... "I think we need to take that motto of "What happens in California, Stays in California." But we look at the situation of what works for Washington, what do we need to do to increase our farm workers standard of living. Washington as a whole, how do we improve that instead of just focusing on if California did it, we want to do it too. That's not a good policy method. We need to look at what works in Washington state base on our unique qualities and characteristics."
A paid sick leave law approved by voters along with the minimum wage this year goes into effect in 2018.