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Employers With 26 Or More Employees Now Must Pay Overtime After Nine Hours Of Work

Effective January 1, 2020, employing agricultural labor got more expensive.

Here are the details:

If you’re an employer with 26 or more employees, you must pay overtime after nine hours of work. Small employers (with 25 or fewer employees) will continue to pay straight wages for workdays that are 10 hours or less – or workweeks that are 60 hours of less. Small employers will actually be affected in 2022 when they must pay overtime for workdays greater than 9.5 hours or workweeks more than 55 hours.

Got it? Most California employers aren’t quite sure – and it probably will not be clear for a while. That’s why I’m helping my clients understand the new laws now, when it matters.

These “abrupt” changes come from a law passed in 2016. California Assembly Bill 1066 created the timetable that gradually changes overtime rules in order to make California Wage Order 15 overtime to be paid on the same basis as most other industries in California.

That’s because, beginning in 2017, ag workers became entitled to all statutory protections in working hours and overtime requirements from which they were excluded in Labor Code sections 500 through 556, and Labor Code section 558.1.

Are you prepared to pay your workers correctly? Do you have a plan through 2022 and beyond?”

According to the Sun-Gazette, “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.”

Ag employees, according to the Sun-Gazette, are 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 shepherding, irrigation and licensed crewmembers on commercial fishing vessels.

Got it? There’s a reason many employers aren’t quite clear on the timing of the new rules.

Let’s talk and I’ll help develop a plan to keep you unconfused and compliant. Interested in taking the next step? Call or email me today



A reported in the Sun-Gazette

Recia Shelton