Legislation will give Washington farmworkers overtime pay


By Ton Karst, The Packer

April 27, 2021


Washington state agricultural workers will start receiving overtime pay in 2022 and will have a 40-hour workweek by 2024, according to new legislation passed by the state’s legislature and sent to the state’s governor to sign.


Senate Bill 5172 passed both state houses with bipartisan support.


California passed a similar bill in 2016.


Washington lawmakers said the legislation addresses the historical exceptions of agricultural work from overtime standards from both the federal fair labor standards act and the state minimum wage act when they were enacted over 60 years ago.


“Excluded from the opportunity to earn overtime pay, farmworkers across our state remain among our state’s poorest workers,” the legislation said.


At the same time, authors of the legislation said the phase-in approach will protect farmers...