Ag Overtime Changes Pt 1

Ag Overtime Changes Pt 1

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with today’s Fruit Grower Report. Over the summer, Washington growers will face challenges including trying to balance the new overtime work requirements AND getting their crops in.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association President Jon DeVaney says they are still working with those in Olympia pushing for certain exemptions …

DeVANEY … “We do still want to get the legislature to take some action to modify the implementation of ag overtime because we are seeing it, as its phased in, having some severe impacts on both growers and their employees, their inability to manage the hours that they work during peak periods of activity.”

But will there be any changes before 2024 when the ag overtime threshold drops to 40 hours per week …

DeVANEY … “Possibly, and that’s what we’re going to continue to be discussing with legislators. Obviously, last year when we had a much smaller cherry and apple crop, as well as that cool weather leading to some reductions in other commodities as well in their volume, that somewhat mitigated the effects of having the lower overtime ceiling last year.”

But, DeVaney says that is likely to change this summer …

DeVANEY … “If we have more normal crops this year and now an overtime threshold at 48 hours, you’re going to be facing a much more constrained environment for managing your workforce in a year in which you’re going to have more fruit that year or other crops you’re going to need to be taking care of.”

Listen tomorrow for more on the effort to make necessary changes to the ag overtime laws.

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