Retro Overtime Pay Legislation Pt 2

Retro Overtime Pay Legislation Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Substitute Senate bill 5172 would rule out retroactive overtime pay for previously overtime exempt industries like agriculture.

Washington Policy Center’s Initiative on Ag Director, Pam Lewison says ag employers should be able to adjust to the new rules of paying overtime, but the retro overtime pay on the other hand …

LEWISON … “It’s a lot harder to figure out how to absorb this huge chunk of money all at one time, in terms of an award of this retroactive lump sum of money, and when I say a lot harder, I mean business-ending impossible. It’s not a feasible thing to do.”

The retro overtime lawsuits are being pushed by farm labor activists and farm labor unions …

LEWISON … “I think the first thing to bear in mind is that in Washington state, approximately 1% of all farm workers are represented by a union. So, it’s a little bit frustrating to see how much sway they have because they represent such a small number of farm workers.”

The mood overall, Lewison says is cautious …

LEWISON … “Overall, in the agricultural community, everyone is really afraid right now. I think people are afraid for their workers, I think they’re afraid for their businesses because they’re concerned that their voices and their concerns are not being heard.”

Lewison says being heard is the key in this conversation.

Listen tomorrow for more on that.

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