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Bill to expand overtime rules for farmworkers is resurrected in the Legislature

Lettuce pickers work in a field in the Imperial Valley. (Tim Tadder/Associated Press)
Lettuce pickers work in a field in the Imperial Valley. (Tim Tadder/Associated Press)

Two weeks after lawmakers rejected the proposal, an effort to create new overtime pay rules for California farmworkers has reappeared in the Legislature.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) replaced the contents of an unrelated bill last week with language on overtime work rules.

On June 2, Gonzalez's original attempt fell three votes short after an emotional floor debate in the Assembly. Several of her fellow Democrats either voted against the bill or abstained.

Like the first version, AB 1066 would phase in new overtime pay requirements for agricultural workers over a four-year period beginning in 2019. Supporters of the effort have argued that existing overtime allowances for farmworkers are too limited compared with other jobs.

By 2022, the bill would require overtime pay for farm labor longer than eight hours in a single day or 40 hours in a single week. In that same year, the bill would require double-time pay for any work over 12 hours.

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