Ag Community Not Thrilled With Legislation Addressing Overtime Issues

Legislation that would address several overtime questions in Washington is not sitting well in the farming community for a variety of reasons. Senate Bill 5172 is currently in the state House. The legislation looks to initiate a stair stepped approach to overtime pay for farm workers that cross 40 hours in a week. If approved, […]

Hennings: Overtime, Climate Change Top Issues On Minds Of Wheat Growers

Incase tending to the 2021 crop is not enough, Washington wheat growers have a lot of their plat in both Olympia and D.C. these days. Michelle Hennings, Executive Director of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers says one of the most pressing issues they’re watching in the virtual session Senate Bill 5172, which looks at […]

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 […]

Schoesler: Overtime Discussion Not Good for Producers, Employees

As Washington lawmakers continue to debate the idea of requiring overtime pay for ag workers, one farm legislator says the conversation is not good for either the producer or the employee. Senator Mark Schoesler, a wheat farmer from Ritzville, said the idea of initiating overtime pay is counterproductive for both sides of the equation. “Because, […]

Washington Senate Approves 40 Hour Week For Ag Workers

Washington is positioned to be the first state to bring the 40-hour work week to agricultural workers, under a bill approved by the state Senate Tuesday. Under the modified Senate Bill 5172, which was originally proposed by Yakima’s Republican Senator Curtis King, Washington would establish a three-year phase-in period of the new requirement that employers […]

Orcutt: Overtime Suits Could Have Detrimental Impact On Both Sides Of The Mountains

With lawsuits filed and more pending against dairies across Washington for retroactive overtime from the past three years, more and more concern is starting to mount regarding the long-term impact these suits could have on the state’s farm industry. Kalama area Representative Ed Orcutt said while some may see this issue as one that only […]

Overtime, Taxes Key Issues For Dairy Industry During 2021 Washington Session

2020 was a difficult year for the Washington Dairy Industry. Not only did producers deal with the pandemic and supply chain disruptions, but the then came the November Supreme Court ruling on the Ag overtime exemption. Washington Dairy Federation Communications director, Scott Dilley, said things are tough on dairy farmers right now, because milk prices are not great […]

Focus On Fruit for 01/28/21

Jon DeVaney President of the Washington state Tree Fruit Association talks about how three years of retroactive overtime could impact growers across the region. If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]

Washington Ag Community Warns No Action By Lawmakers Could Destroy Farm Economy

When the Washington Supreme court ruled in November that farm workers should receive time-and-a-half pay for work over 40 hours per week, it opened a bit of a Pandora’s Box. In their ruling, the High Court did not indicate if farm workers could seek retroactive pay for the previous three years, which has already triggered […]

Farmworkers Speak Out Against 2020 Overtime Ruling

In November, the Washington Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the state’s overtime exemption violated Washington employment laws. With that ruling, Washington granted farm workers time-and-a-half pay once they work more than 40 hours in a week. However, many of those impacted workers are speaking out against the court’s decision and calling on lawmakers to reinstate […]