Overtime Bill Passed Pt 3

Overtime Bill Passed Pt 3

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Ag employers will be protected from retroactive overtime lawsuits, but a harvest season exemption to overtime was not included in the overtime bill that passed in Olympia.

The Washington Farm Bureau’s Breanne Elsey says there seems to be enough support so they’ll work on it again next session …

ELSEY … “We were actually surprised. There is a significant amount of Democrats, the majority party, who really felt that that was fair as well. There was a group of them who were quite supportive of the seasonality amendment.”

And that, Elsey says is encouraging …

ELSEY … “I do feel like we have a group to work with next year that have always felt like 12-weeks a year was a very reasonable offer. So, we will just pick up where we left off next session and try to move a stand-alone bill that deals solely with that one issue.”

That doesn’t mean, Elsey says that it’s not important …

ELSEY … “It’s just those 11th-hour decisions have to be made and protecting agriculture from those lawsuits, which could be upwards from a million dollars apiece for a medium sized farm, that became the real priority in the 11th-hour.”

Elsey says she’s optimistic …

ELSEY … “The fact that all the agricultural associations were able to band together and provide a united front and stand really firm when it counted, I think made all the difference in getting the changes we need to where everybody could be supportive of the bill in the end.”

Elsey says the bill wasn’t perfect, but it did fix issue number one, overtime lawsuits.

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