New Overtime Pay Rules for Agricultural Workers California

New Overtime Pay Rules for Agricultural Workers California

Over the past few years and continuing for the next several years, agricultural workers in California have been gaining more robust employment rights, including rights to more overtime pay. In 2016, the California legislature passed Assembly Bill 1066 which went into effect on January 1, 2017. The purpose of this law is to gradually increase the overtime pay of agricultural workers over a five-year period. For agricultural employers with 26 or more employees, the yearly increases take place between 2017 and 2022. For smaller agriculture employers, those with 25 or fewer employees, the changes will take place on the first of the year from 2020 to 2025. By 2025, all agricultural employees will be entitled to overtime after working 40 hours per week.

Prior to AB 1066, agricultural employees were only eligible to receive overtime pay if they worked more than 10 hours in a single day or 60 hours in a workweek. The goal of this legislation is to bring agricultural workers’ overtime pay more in line with the overtime pay regulations of most other workers. Over the five-year period, the number of hours worked to hit overtime status will gradually decrease. The following table shows the changes to the overtime requirements over the years:

Effective date for employers with 26 or more employees:

Effective date for employers with 25 or fewer employees:

Overtime required after the following hours per day:

Overtime required after the following hours per week:

Jan. 1, 2019

Jan. 1, 2022

9.5

55

Jan. 1, 2020

Jan. 1, 2023

9

50

Jan. 1, 2021

Jan. 1, 2024

8.5

45

Jan. 1, 2022

Jan. 1, 2025

8

40

How Much Is Overtime For Agricultural Workers?

Overtime rates for agricultural workers are calculated the same way as other workers. Once the worker hits the required hours to be paid their overtime rate, they must be paid 1.5 (one and one-half) times their normal wage. Beginning in 2022 for large employers and 2025 for small employers, agricultural workers will also be entitled to twice the employee’s regular rate of pay for working more than 12 hours in a day.

Other Legal Protections From AB 1066

AB 1066 added more than just the overtime phase-in period. This bill also granted all statutory protections from the California Labor Code sections 550-556 and 588.1 to agricultural workers. Previously, agriculture employees were excluded from these protections. Some of the rights in these Labor Code sections include rights to meal periods, alternate schedules, make-up time, and collective bargaining exemptions.

Employees covered by these laws include “employees engaged in the preparation and treatment of farmland as well as the care and harvesting of crops” and “employees engaged in sheepherding, irrigation and licensed crew members on commercial fishing vessels.” 

Does Your Employer Owe You Overtime? Call Davtyan Law Firm

If you believe your employer has been miscalculating your overtime pay, the legal team at Davtyan Law Firm may be able to help. We are a California-based law firm that focuses exclusively on employment law and helping California workers protect their rights. Our experienced staff help agricultural employees get paid correctly for their hard work. If you need help with a wage claim or any other kind of employment law issue, call Davtyan Law Firm today and one of our team members will discuss your case.

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