​Lawmaker proposes an eight-hour workday for farmworkers

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

U.S. Department of Agriculture/Flickr

From the Sacramento Business Journal:

by Alan Young

Farmworkers would receive overtime after eight hours of work under legislation recently introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.

Gonzalez, a pro-labor San Diego Democrat, knows she has a steep climb in front of her. Over the last six years, legislation to increase overtime for farmworkers has failed twice in California, most recently in 2012.

Gonzalez views her bill as a simple fairness measure that would give farm laborers the same employment benefits as workers for food distributors and grocers.

“This is basic human rights,” she said. “We haven’t let the workers on farms catch up to the rest of society. It’s time we do that.”

The legislation would lower the current 10-hour day for farmworkers in half-hour increments, reaching eight hours in 2020. The standard 60-hour workweek for farmworkers also would be reduced to 40 hours.

California’s largest agricultural interest group, the California Farm Bureau Federation, opposes the bill, contending it would eliminate jobs.

Read more from the Sacramento Business Journal.