Wash Dairy Overtime Ruling
The Washington State Supreme Court issued a ruling that is very disappointing to the state’s dairy industry and should be for all of agriculture, effectively striking down the state’s exemption from paying farmworkers time-and-a-half for overtime.
Dan Wood, Executive Director of the Washington State Dairy Federation called it a very disturbing decision.
“Well, the legislature passed about 60 years ago a law that said you just pay a straight hourly rate for agricultural workers, not the time and a half beyond 40-hours that applies to other work sectors. And, the Supreme Court, 60-years later, ruled that it was unconstitutional.”
“And so, their options are to eliminate jobs, to cut people back to 40-hours instead of says a 55-hour week that people are working in order to earn more money, to reduce their hourly rate, or just close their business, or put in robotics. You know, robotic milkers, robotic feed movers, etc. Or, even move out of state.”