New California law would change overtime rules for farm workers

In Sacramento today more than 60 farm workers urged the governor to sign a bill that would give them equal access to overtime pay. Under existing law, agricultural workers in California only get paid overtime after they’ve worked 10 straight hours.

Most other hourly workers get overtime pay after eight hours. The disparity dates back to 1935, when Congress excluded agricultural workers from the National Labor Relations Act. Arturo Rodriguez with United Farm Workers Union says it’s time to update that law.

"They’re human beings like everyone else and after an eight hour day they’re tired like everyone else is and if they’re going to work those extra two hours they feel like they should be treated with the same respect and the same dignity as other workers."

California state lawmakers just passed a bill that would require employers to pay farm workers overtime after eight hours. Governor Schwarzenegger has 12 days to decide whether to sign it.

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