Oregon's Ag Overtime Pt 1

Oregon's Ag Overtime Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. Just a few months after the state of Washington began its first year of paying time-and-a-half to farmworkers, Oregon’s governor has now signed their version of an ag overtime bill.

And Oregon’s bill, according to Washington Policy Center’s Ag Research Director, Pam Lewison, is just plain better than ours …

LEWISON … “The Oregon version phases ag overtime in over the next five years. In Washington, there was a three-year phase in beginning this year. Oregon will give it a try starting next year. And they’re easing it in a little bit slower, in increments, then we are.”

And, Lewison says, there are a couple of key provisions we didn’t even consider …

LEWISON … “The first is, farmers for this first five years in Oregon will have a tax break. So, they’ll essentially get most of the overtime that they are paying out to their employees back in the form of what is effectively a tax rebate.”

Then, Lewison says, they included an economic impact study …

LEWISON … “During this first phase-in period, they’ll have to do a study to see how it is affecting both the employer and the employees. And then, every six years thereafter they will have to do the same.”

Meaning, Lewison says it may not be permanent …

LEWISON … “At some point they basically left the door open to repeal that ag overtime law in the event that it’s not beneficial for the farmworkers or for the employers.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on Oregon’s ag overtime law and WHY it’s just plain better than ours.

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