Overtime For Agriculture Pt 1

Overtime For Agriculture Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Senate Bill 5172 that would phase in overtime pay for ag employees has passed and is now in the House where it will undoubtedly see more revisions.

But after the back and forth the bill saw in the Senate, Jon DeVaney, President of the Washington State Tree Fruit Association, says the current bill is not especially surprising …

DeVANEY … “It’s nerve wracking, but legislation is a negotiating process and sometimes that negotiation happens all behind the scenes and then you only see in writing the final, middle-of-the-road product.”

DeVaney says both sides were heard …

DeVANEY … “In this case, this negotiation played out with competing drafts, so Senator King’s initial proposal really reflected the most urgent needs of the agricultural community to address this threat of possible retroactive claims against growers who were following the law in good faith before the law changed.”

And, DeVaney says on the other side …

DeVANEY … “The draft that came out of the committee really reflected the most urgent priorities of the labor advocates, which is getting to a new overtime standard for all of agriculture that they would like to see.”

Like it or not, DeVaney says that’s how the process works …

DeVANEY … “We negotiated towards a comprise that met both those stakeholders most essential needs as it moved out of the Senate.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on Revised Senate Bill 5172 and what to expect now that it’s in the House.

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