Agricultural Overtime and AB 1066

in Agriculture, Employment Law, In The News, Home

By: Erica Rosasco, McKague Rosasco LLP

In September 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1066 into law.  The bill modified the overtime rules applicable to California farmworkers, and brought them in line with other California employees.  Prior to AB 1066, employees covered by Wage Order 14 received overtime compensation (time and a half) when they worked more than 10 hours in a day, or more than 60 hours in a single workweek.  In contrast, most California employees received overtime compensation when they worked more than 8 hours in a day, or more than 40 hours in a single workweek.  AB 1066 phases in overtime for farmworkers so that they will receive the same overtime compensation as other employees.

The 2016 overtime laws for farmworkers are set to be phased in over a period of four years.  Overtime compensation will be owed as follows: (1) in 2019, for time worked over 9.5 hours in a day, or 55 hours in a workweek; (2) in 2020, for time worked over 9 hours in a day, or 50 hours in a workweek; (3) in 2021, for time worked over 8.5 hours in a day, or 45 hours in a workweek; and (4) in 2022, for time worked over 8 hours in a day, or 40 hours in a workweek.  Double time compensation will be owed for time worked over 12 hours in a day beginning in 2022.  Agricultural businesses with fewer than 25 employees will have an additional three years to comply with the new overtime rules.

In addition to amending when employees will be eligible for overtime pay, AB 1066 also removes the “no weekly overtime” rule.  Effective January 1, 2019, all employers, regardless of size, must also ensure that employees are provided with weekly overtime pay after either 55 hours per week (for employers with 26 or more employees) or 60 hours per week (for employers with 25 or fewer employees).

AB 1066 directs the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) to update Industrial Wage Commission Wage Order 14 to make it consistent with the new law.  However, DIR has not yet updated the Wage Order.  The revised provisions will eliminate the pre-existing exemption from overtime for irrigators who spend a majority of their working time each week preforming the duties of an irrigator.   Effective January 1, 2019, pursuant to the language in the proposed revisions to Wage Order 14, the new overtime provisions will apply to employers with more than 25 employees. Employers with 25 or fewer employees may continue to apply the existing exemption from overtime to irrigation workers until January 1, 2022. At that time, small employers will lose the exemption and irrigation workers will become subject to daily and weekly overtime, the same as all other agricultural employees.  Keep in mind, unless and until the DIR issues the new Wage Order 14, irrigators for all employers should be paid overtime to avoid a lawsuit by a plaintiff’s attorney.  Stay tuned for the final changes to Wage Order 14. 

If you need assistance with implementing the new agricultural overtime rules, please contact Erica Rosasco at McKague Rosasco LLP. 

Date                              Employers with 26 EE's or more           Employers with 25 EE's or less                          

January 1, 2019            9.5 hrs/day; 55 hrs/week                            10 hrs/day

January 1, 2020            9 hrs/day; 50 hrs/week                              10 hrs/day

January 1, 2021            8.5 hrs/day; 45 hrs/week                            10 hrs/day

January 1, 2022            8 hrs/day; 40 hrs/week                               9.5 hrs/day; 55 hrs/week

January 1, 2023            8 hrs/day; 40 hrs/week                               9 hrs/day; 50 hrs/week

January 1, 2024            8 hrs/day; 40 hrs/week                               8.5 hrs/day; 45 hrs/week

January 1, 2025            8 hrs/day; 40 hrs/week                               8 hrs/day; 40 hrs/week

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