• Governor Signs Law Increasing The Overtime Pay of Agricultural Workers
  • November 2, 2016 | Authors: Katherine A. Hren; Anne S. Kelson; Richard S. Rosenberg
  • Law Firm: Ballard Rosenberg Golper & Savitt LLP - Glendale Office
  • The Governor recently signed new legislation that will provide greater protection for agricultural employees who work any overtime hours. Historically, agricultural employees have been permitted to work longer hours than their non-agricultural counterparts before they were entitled to any overtime pay.  Under the current law, agricultural workers are only entitled to overtime pay if they  work more than 10 hours in one day or 60 hours in one workweek, whereas all other workers receive overtime after 8 hours of work in any one day or 40 hours per week.

    Starting January 1, 2019, that will change. Agricultural employers of 26 employees or more will be subject to more stringent (and costly) overtime requirements designed to bring them in parity with non-agricultural employees. Under the new law, agricultural employees will be entitled to overtime based upon the schedule below:

    Year

    2019

    2020

    2021

    2022

    Hours/Day 

    9.5  

    9  

    8.5  

    8  

    Hours/Week 

    55 

    50

    45

    40 


    Agricultural employers with 25 or fewer employees will have an additional three years to come into compliance.

    Additionally, beginning January 1, 2017, the new law mandates overtime pay to all agricultural workers (regardless of the size of the business) for any work on the seventh consecutive day of work in the workweek. The first 8 hours must be paid at time and one half and any hours worked beyond that are paid at double time. Prior to this new law, agricultural employees were exempt from this requirement.

    Agricultural employers should ensure that they understand these new overtime provisions and get ready for implementing the first of these changes in 2017.