Back Pay Lawsuit Pt 2

Back Pay Lawsuit Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. A pair of Washington state bills could help protect farmers from being required to pay workers for three years of overtime pay retroactively. This, after the November ruling by the Washington Supreme Court removing the overtime exemption for agriculture.

Douglas County tree fruit grower, April Clayton says it would kill her industry …

CLAYTON … “I’d say retroactively, three years overtime will be the nail in the coffin that ruins the apple industry in Washington state. You know, we followed the law. We shouldn’t be penalized for following the law. I strongly support this bill.”

Washington State Tree Fruit Association president, Jon DeVaney says this really shouldn’t be a partisan issue …

DeVANEY … “As we’ve been talking to legislators from both parties, I think a lot of them understand that issue. There are political complexities, but I think this really should not be a politically driven issue or one in which political philosophies be in conflict. It should really be about that fundamental question of fairness.”

So, DeVaney says the reaction had to quick …

DeVANEY … “Because the Supreme Court decision just came down in November, this was not about a legislated change of policy. This was about how you reacted to an unpleasant surprise from a court.”

DeVaney says this could devastate farmers who were following the rules …

DeVANEY … “What we got our Supreme Court was a decision that applied to some producers and not others and left some questions unanswered and open to further litigation and really created a lot of legal and financial uncertainty for growers.”

Tune in tomorrow for more.

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