Ag Overtime Bill Dead Pt 1

Ag Overtime Bill Dead Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. A change in the Ag Overtime law will have to wait. Senate Bill 5476, that would have given ag employers a 12-week exemption from paying overtime until 50 hours per week, failed to make it out of committee.

Washington Policy Center’s Center for Agriculture Director, Pam Lewison believes some of those on that Senate committee had no interest in moving the bill …

LEWISON … “I think the honest truth is, you have

Senator Karen Keiser and Senator Rebecca Saldaña pushing back and, not necessarily saying directly that they have no interest in moving the bill, but their attitude and approach to the bill certainly suggested that the hearing was a courtesy, not a bill they were seriously considering moving.”

Watching the hearing, Lewison says, was something else …

LEWISON … “And I think the hearing on that bill, in particular, was really painful to watch because there were certainly some things that occurred that should not have occurred the way they did.”

In particular, Lewison says, the many Spanish-speaking people who showed up to testify in favor of the bill …

LEWISON … “Instead of using the state-certified translator that was present in the hearing room to make sure that they were getting verbatim translations, Senator Saldana stepped in and gave summaries of the comments from the people who were testifying remotely in Spanish.”

Tune in tomorrow for more on why SB 5476 … to tweak ag overtime requirements … never saw the light of day.

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