WAFLA on Overtime Changes Pt 2

WAFLA on Overtime Changes Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s

Fruit Grower Report. After losing its exemption to paying overtime, Washington state’s agricultural employers begin the phase-in this year of the new laws, beginning with anything over 55-hours a week.

New WAFLA CEO Enrique Gastelum says there could be opportunities to make adjustments to the new rules …

GASTELUM … “But, you know, my message to the industry is this year in particular, especially here in the state of Washington, we have got to do our best to track the impacts of this, both financially, administratively, and the impact with our workers, gather that data, prior to the next sessions, and be armed with that factual information.”

So, Gastelum says we’ll need to be tracking this …

GASTELUM … “If we are seeing, even just at 55 hours here, the great negative impacts, folks, if we don’t do something before it hits 48 and 40, you know, with labor-intensive agriculture, some farms hanging on by a thread, we could be pushing them over the cliff and we don’t want to do that.”

It’s best, Gastelum says not to guess …

GASTELUM … “But it’s going to take some facts and information, so yeah, I think there’s a lot of serious concerns out there. We can all sort of be guessing, but the truth will be told once we get past this next season here.”

Gastelum says one of his goals is to be a supportive leader and help get a seat at the table when talks with lawmakers begin.

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