Jan 25, 2019
California ag overtime guidelines released by commissioner

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has posted guidance for agricultural employers and workers on an overtime pay schedule that went into effect Jan. 1. The law’s overtime pay requirements will be phased in according to the table below.

“We encourage large and small agricultural employers in the state to note the new farmworker overtime pay requirements that will phase in until a 40-hour standard workweek is reached,” said California Labor Secretary Julie A. Su. The daily and weekly thresholds at which agricultural workers receive overtime pay will phase-in according to the following schedule:

Assembly Bill 1066 (2016) created a timetable for agricultural workers to receive overtime pay so that they will gradually receive overtime pay on the same basis as workers in most other industries.

The number of hours worked per day or per week before overtime pay is required at a rate of one and one-half times the agricultural employee’s regular rate of pay will phase-in according to the following schedule:

Overtime pay schedule for agricultural workers at large employers
(26 or more employees)

Date

Hours in a day

Hours in a workweek

January 1, 2019

9.5

55

January 1, 2020

9

50

January 1, 2021

8.5

45

January 1, 2022*

8

40

Double the regular rate of pay applies after 12 hours

Overtime pay schedule for agricultural workers at small employers
(25 or fewer employees)

Date

Hours in a day

Hours in a workweek

January 1, 2022

9.5

55

January 1, 2023

9

50

January 1, 2024

8.5

45

January 1, 2025*

8

40

Double the regular rate of pay applies after 12 hours

Beginning January 1, 2017, agricultural workers are entitled to all statutory protections in the working hours and overtime requirements in Labor Code sections 500 through 556, and Labor Code section 558.1, from which they were previously excluded (but the daily and weekly overtime thresholds apply according to the timeline indicated above). This means that certain rights of agricultural employees and obligations of agricultural employers are now specifically set forth in the Labor Code, in addition to the protections available under the applicable Wage Order. This includes, for example, standards regarding meal periods, alternative workweek schedules, make-up work time, the collective bargaining agreement exemption, the one day’s rest in seven requirement, and the administrative, executive, or professional overtime exemption standard.

Agricultural employees are also generally entitled to time and one-half pay for the first eight hours worked on the seventh consecutive day of work, and double-time pay for all work performed in excess of eight hours on the seventh consecutive day of work. These protections from Wage Order 14 (Agricultural Employers) continue to apply, consistent with Labor Code section 510, regardless of employer size.

Agricultural workers are defined in Wage Order 14 and include employees engaged in the preparation and treatment of farmland as well as the care and harvesting of crops. Agricultural workers include employees engaged in sheepherding, irrigation and licensed crew members on commercial fishing vessels.

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