NHEH Publications

2019 Ushers-In Overtime Changes for Agricultural Workers

By Lindsey Berg-James, Attorney, Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss

2019 presents the first in a series of coming overtime changes for agricultural workers.  Currently, agricultural employees under Wage Order No. 14 receive overtime (time-and-a-half) after 10 hours in a day or 60 hours per week.  This is a departure from employees in a majority of other industries, who are entitled to receive overtime after only 8 hours in a day or 40 hours per week.  For agricultural employers with more than 25 employees, AB 1066 gradually changes California overtime law over the next four years.

Labor Code Sections 857-864 were added to the California Labor Code, specifically covering agricultural employees. Section 860 creates a schedule that phases-in overtime requirements for California agricultural employees over the course of four years, from 2019 to 2022, to match those that apply to all California hourly employees.  A schedule of the phased-in overtime requirements is below:

                    Agricultural Employers w/ 26+ Employees

  Daily OT (1.5X) Weekly OT (1.5X)  Double Time (2X)
 2019    >9.5 hrs/day     >55 hrs/week             N/A
 2020 >9.5 hrs/day   >9.0 hrs/day     >50 hrs/week             N/A
 2021    >8.5 hrs/day     >45 hrs/week             N/A
 2022    >8.0 hrs/day     >40 hrs/week      >12 hrs/day

 

As shown, agricultural employees are now entitled to overtime after 9.5 hours per day and 55 hours per week.  By 2022, agricultural employers will have to pay overtime in accordance with the standard state rule (8 hours per day or 40 hours per week).  Agricultural businesses with fewer than 25 employees will start phasing-in new overtime laws in 2022, and will reach the standard rate in 2025.

In addition to the new hourly rules, the overtime laws for the seventh consecutive day in a 7-day workweek still apply.

  • Agricultural employees are entitled to 1.5x overtime rate for the first 8 hours worked on the seventh consecutive day.
  • All hours worked over 8 hours on the seventh consecutive day are entitled to 2x the overtime rate.

When determining the applicable overtime rate, employers should keep in mind that agricultural overtime rules only apply to those workers employed in an agricultural occupation.  Those employees who do not work directly in such an occupation (office personnel, for example), are subject to the standard California overtime rules.

 

This article is intended to address topics of general interest and should not be construed as legal advice.

© 2019 Noland, Hamerly, Etienne & Hoss