Retro Overtime Pay Legislation Pt 1

Retro Overtime Pay Legislation Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Paying employees three years back overtime pay could be devastating for a dozen Washington dairies facing a lawsuit for that, just a few months after the state Supreme Court overturned agriculture’s exemption for overtime pay.

Washington Policy Center’s Pam Lewison says the farmers were all following the laws at the time …

LEWISON … “Pay that we’re talking about in this retroactive action doesn’t exist. All of these workers were paid, in full, the amount that they were owed. So, whatever they’re seeking retroactively is something else. It’s sort of reaching back in time to apply a current court ruling in the past for something that didn’t exist when they were being paid previously.”

Lewison says there is a bill that would fix that …

LEWISON … “The legislation that we’re looking at in Olympia, which is substitute Senate bill 5172, would apply not just to agriculture, but to all overtime-exempt businesses.”

And, in turn, Lewison says would rule out retro overtime pay …

LEWISON … “It would rule out the ability of any employee to do this reaching back in time, this retroactive seeking of overtime.”

Lewison says farm employers are worried suits like these could spread to all of agriculture.

Listen tomorrow for more on Senate bill 5172.

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