Miller: Ag Overtime Would Make Farming In Oregon Challenging

House Bill 2358, legislation mandating agricultural employers in Oregon pay overtime wages, once workers pass 40 hours a week, is scheduled to get another public hear Monday afternoon in the House Committee on Business and Labor. Elin Miller Co-chair of the Oregon Wine Council says the proposal would put a huge financial burden on growers and producers across the state, as well as hurt employees in the long-run. She noted at her Umpqua-area farm, they have workers return year after year because of the opportunity to work many hours a week during peak time of the year, allowing for a larger paycheck. She said if overtime is enforced, most of those opportunities will disappear.

“If I personally needed to limit [the hours] because I couldn’t afford to look at the overtime to limit the hours of folks.  Again, I think a lot of unintended consequences where this bill has passed in other states, not too many but a few, it’s been a real, real challenge.”

According to a recent Oregon Farm Bureau survey, a majority of farmers across the state says they will not be able to afford the payroll costs of this legislation, saying it will result in over $100,000 in new costs.

Click Here to sign up for Monday’s hearing, which starts at 3:15 p.m. Pacific.

Click Here if you’d like to submit written testimony.

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