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.