2016 Legislative Advocacy
On midnight, August 31, 2016 the legislature gaveled down the 2015-16 Legislative Session. The legislature worked to send a host of critical bills to the Governor for consideration by September 30th, the deadline for approving or vetoing legislation.
The 2015-16 legislative session will be known as one marked with historic progressive measures being passed – an increase in minimum wage, ag overtime and climate change were among the many bills signed into law. With this progressive legislative leadership and focus, the Almond Alliance worked tirelessly with coalitions on key issues throughout the session. The Alliance tracked 72 bills and took positions on 22 this year.
Ag Overtime – Opposed
AB 1066 (Gonzalez) which was signed into law by the Governor will require employers to pay agricultural workers (farmworkers) overtime after eight hours in a day and after five days worked in a work. Currently, farmworkers get paid overtime after 10 hours in a day and six days in the week. AB 1066 mandates overtime to be paid at 1.5 times pay after eight hours in a day, and five days worked in a week. Double time is still required after 12 hours, as already mandated in existing law. The author added in provisions providing an additional three years to comply for farmers employing less than 25 employees.
The Almond Alliance worked with a broad coalition of ag and business groups opposing the measure and was successful defeating the first ag overtime bill introduced in the Assembly. The Senate vote on AB1066, a “gut and amend” bill, was very narrow with bipartisan opposition. The grassroots efforts of farmers and association members meeting with legislators, logging in calls and emails and writing letters was noted by legislators that supported and opposed the legislation. The very narrow passage of this bill in the Senate highlights the need to continue building relationships and educating legislators especially moderate Democrats about our industry and the challenges facing our communities.
Which IWC Order Pertains to My Operation?
An IWC Order regulates wage and hour requirements and working conditions for a particular Industry or Occupation:
- Overtime/ Double time
- Meal/Rest Periods
- Alternative Work Weeks
- Working Conditions
For Huller/Shellers and Processors the most common applicable wage orders are Orders 8 and 13 however it will depend on your specific business practices.
Order No. 8- Industries Handling Product After Harvest, is the most likely wage order to apply.
- “After Harvest” means any industry, business or establishment operated for the purpose of grading, sorting, cleaning, drying, etc.…or otherwise preparing any agricultural product for distribution, and includes all the operations incidental thereto.
- Additionally the Division Of Labor Standards Enforcement also notes that, “a grower who processes the product of any other employer is engaged in a ‘commercial’ operation.”
- This note is key in making the final determination as to which Order applies to your operation.
Click Here to access the guidance document to determine which Wage Order Applies to your operation.