Oregon's Ag Overtime Pt 2

Oregon's Ag Overtime Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. If new ag overtime laws in Washington and Oregon were a football game, Oregon is kicking our butt.

That’s the opinion of Washington Policy Center’s Ag Research Director, Pam Lewison after seeing the common-sense approach Oregon lawmakers used including a longer phase in period, economic impact studies and tax relief for farmers …

LEWISON … “But I also think that Oregon probably observed what was happening in Washington and saw the need to make sure that both parties were at the table from the very beginning to have a reasonable conversation about what overtime should look like.”

Lewison says it’s really a head-scratcher …

LEWISON … “I would love to see Oregon’s approach migrate north, to be honest. I think our approach to ag overtime is too fast particularly when you look at the wholesale three years were supposed to be at 40-hours, the end. No discussion, no thought about what the consequences are to the farmworkers or to the employer.”

Oregon’s approach, Lewison says just magnifies our mistakes and our arrogance …

LEWISON … “When you have just a broad-strokes approach like that, what you end up with is, is with the laws of unintended consequences coming to fruition right in front of your eyes. And I think this particular growing season, we’re going to see what that looks like.”

Lewison says it’s about striking a balance between trying to pay farmworkers more and acknowledging the financial hit farm employers will have to absorb at the same time.

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