WSTFA on Ag Overtime Fix Pt 2

WSTFA on Ag Overtime Fix Pt 2

Bob Larson
Bob Larson
From the Ag Information Network, this is today’s Fruit Grower Report. One of the big agricultural issues in Olympia this year is the now 40-hour threshold for overtime that employers must pay farmworkers.

Washington State Tree Fruit Association president, Jon

DeVaney says a lot of farm employers AND farmworkers were in Olympia during the legislative session to have their voices heard …

DeVANEY … “The cumulative effect of all of that was that we’ve seen a lot more attention to this issue than in the past and many legislators who had previously been skeptical and viewed this as a closed issue have been willing to discuss alternatives going forward.”

So, DeVaney says more voices is a good thing …

DeVANEY … “Right, and legislators had been inclined to view this as a settled issue and instead what they’re hearing is a growing number of growers and employees raising this as a concern. And this is even before we’ve started a production season with the 40-hour threshold in place.”

DeVaney says there was even a bill introduced that offered assistance to certain farmers, not enough, but a step in the right direction …

DeVANEY … “And that’s like sort of a crack in the wall from legislators who previously said, nope, it’s fine, it’s good for everyone, we do not need to discuss this. Now some recognition that there are problems that are going to need to be discussed and eventually addressed.”

DeVaney says helping urban legislators understand the how’s and why’s of what goes on in agriculture is more important than ever.

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