California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed landmark legislation granting farmworkers overtime pay after 8 hours of work in a single day or 40 hours in a workweek. The current standard is 10 hours a day and 60 hours in a week before overtime kicks in for farmworkers.
Assembly Bill 1066 starts phasing in the new standard in 2019, lowering the overtime threshold a half-hour each year until it reaches 8 hours in 2022. Farmworkers are currently the only employees in the state not governed by the 8-hours/40-hours standard.
The bill was championed by the United Farm Workers of America, but criticized and opposed by the farming industry, which predicted it would cut workers’ hours and overall employment while also raising market prices. An earlier version of the bill died in the legislature in June, but it was revived and passed in time for the governor to sign it this year. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar measure in 2010.