Overtime bill passes for farmworkers


Warren Gilbert owner of A&G Orchards. Photo credit: Kaley Wise

New legislation that would expand overtime pay for agriculture workers by 2019 was passed Monday, August 29 in California. The bill, introduced by assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, is now being sent to Governor Jerry Brown for approval.

Although this bill would make sure overtime pay for farm workers who work more than eight hours in a day or forty hours in a week, it doesn’t necessarily mean bigger paychecks for farm laborers.

“I can’t afford to pay overtime, so many workers will have to get their hours cut and I will have to bring in two to three new workers,” said Warren Gilbert, owner of A&G orchards, the largest supplier of California’s almonds and walnuts. “The agriculture workers who are excited about this bill passing are uniformed.”

Gilbert states that this bill would mean an increase in food bills, which would lead him to eventually find machines to do the work of many of his employees. “My workers know this means less hours, less money and eventually could result in less jobs.”

Kaley Wise can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.