Proposal to expand overtime pay for farmworkers in California stirring up controversy

EMBED </>More News Videos

AB 1066 would roll back the threshold for overtime pay from ten hours, down to eight-- which is what most of are used to. (KFSN)

On Monday, state lawmakers passed AB 1066 making it one step closer to becoming law. This bill would roll back the threshold for overtime pay from ten hours, down to eight-- which is what most of are used to. But on a farm, employers say, longer days are necessary.

At Donny Rollin's dairy in Riverdale work never stops. It is a 24-hour operation and his employees are used to long shifts.

"It's not as simple as, at the end of the day we just shut everything off and we go home."

A normal shift there is 10 hours and after that, his workers make overtime. AB-1066 could change that and the 10-hour threshold would be reduced to eight by the year 2022. The current 60 hour work week would be abandoned for the standard 40.

Rollin said that would force him to cut back on hours and he'd have to find ways to make up for it.

"I can't short cut on the animals so we end up having to hire more people which, I can't afford."

Jaime Muro just started working at Rollin's dairy and he said the idea of a shorter shift, doesn't sound good.

"If we get cut two hours a day, that would bring down our check significantly."

The United Farm Workers Association is backing the bill and has said it addresses an injustice inflicted on farmworkers nearly eight decades ago. Ryan Jacobsen with the Fresno County Farm Bureau disagrees.

"AB 1066 is a terrible bill. It really, truly harms those it intends to help out."

As for Rollin, he said there is a concern for his operation and the people who keep it going.

"They're not going to be able to put food on the table and clothes on their kids."

The bill is now headed to the state assembly for a final vote but it's expected to face a lot of opposition.
Related Topics:
politicsagriculturefarmingfresno countyRiverdale
(Copyright ©2016 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments