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Governor Brown Signs Ag Overtime Bill

On September 12, 2016, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1066 (Gonzalez, D-San Diego).  AB 1066 will make radical changes to the overtime rules for agricultural employers and employees in California:

  •  The current 10 hour workday for agriculture, which has been in place since at least 1976, will be phased down to an 8 hour day in four annual increments, beginning on January 1, 2019, when employers in ag will be required to pay overtime after 9.5 hours in a workday;
  • At the same time, a maximum work week length will be imposed, also in 4 half-hour increments beginning with a requirement to pay overtime after 55 hours in a workweek beginning on January 1, 2019;
  • Employers of 25 or fewer employees will have an additional three years at each of these overtime phase down/phase-in increments to implement the new overtime threshold;
  • Additionally, AB 1066 eliminates as of January 1, 2017 the exemption for agriculture from the days of rest requirements of the Labor Code that were applied to other industries by the 40 hour workweek restoration legislation passed by the California Legislature in 1999;
  • Depending on the interpretation of certain provisions of AB 1066, it may also eliminate the existing overtime exemption for immediate family members, managerial employees, truck drivers regulated by federal or California hours of service regulations, irrigators and sheepherders as of January 1, 2017; the elimination of overtime exemptions for immediate family members, managerial employees and truck drivers would leave agriculture as the only industry in California without similar overtime exemptions.

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