Overtime for Irrigators Under New Overtime Law; Seventh-Day Overtime Uncertainty
Bryan Little, Farm Employers Labor Service
January 18, 2017
FELS has received numerous calls since the beginning of the year asking whether AB 1066 (Gonzalez) changed the overtime-exempt status of employees who spend more than half of their time in a workweek doing irrigation work as of Jan. 1, 2017.
FELS believes that under AB 1066 is that the irrigator overtime exemption in Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 14-2001 continues to exempt irrigators from daily overtime until at least Jan. 1, 2019. AB 1066's daily and weekly overtime phase-in provisions, which start to take effect on Jan. 1, 2019, apply to "any person employed in an agricultural occupation." We believe that at least until at least that date, provisions in Wage Order 14 will continue to exempt irrigators and other overtime-exempt employees from the provision in Order 14 that requires payment at one and one-half times an employee's regular rate of pay for hours worked over 10 on a workday.
FELS, however, is concerned that a provision in AB 1066 can be read as applying the seventh-day overtime provisions in Labor Code section 510 to all agricultural employees, including irrigators and other employees exempt from Order 14's overtime-pay provisions, as of Jan. 1, 2017. The seventh-day overtime provisions in Labor Code section 510 state:
"[T]he first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in any one workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for an employee.... In addition, any work in excess of eight hours on any seventh day of a workweek shall be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay of an employee." (emphasis added).
(Please note that the seventh day overtime requirement of Labor Code section 510 is different from the seventh day overtime requirement of Wage Order 14, which requires the employee be paid 1 1/2 times the employee's regular rate of pay for the first eight hours worked on the seventh day of work in a workweek, and 2 times the employee's regular rate of pay for hours worked after eight on the seventh day of work in a workweek. As a result, seventh-day overtime is due under Wage Order 14 only if the employee has worked on each of the six prior days in the workweek.)