Democratic senators propose bill giving overtime pay to farmworkers

Democratic senators propose bill giving overtime pay to farmworkers
© Greg Nash

A group of Democratic senators led by Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisOvernight Health Care: Arkansas Medicaid work rules could cost thousands coverage | Record number of overdose deaths in 2017 | Dems demand immediate reunification of separated children Senate Dems demand immediate reunification of remaining separated children Lewandowski says Bloomberg would be 'very competitive' against Trump in 2020 MORE (Calif.) is proposing a bill that would extend overtime pay and minimum wage protections to agricultural workers, according to HuffPost.

The bill, which will be introduced on Monday, would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act. That law, passed in 1938, established a federal minimum wage floor and time-and-a-half pay for extra work.

But farmworkers did not receive those protections when the initial legislation was passed. As the report notes, many of the original exclusions still disproportionately impact African-Americans and Latino field workers. 

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“This bill will attempt to correct some of the injustices they face and guarantee they will get paid for the hours they work including overtime, and minimum wage which right now they are not entitled to by law,” Harris said in a statement. “This is a matter of basic fairness and justice.”

 

The bill would force farmers to pay workers time and a half for every hour worked beyond the standard 40-hour work week.

HuffPost notes that growers say farmers shouldn't receive those protections because the work is weather-dependent and can fluctuate wildly. 

Democratic Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinProgressives fume as Dems meet with Brett Kavanaugh GOP lawmaker calls on FBI to provide more info on former Feinstein staffer It’s possible to protect national security without jeopardizing the economy MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats embracing socialism is dangerous for America Kavanaugh recommended against Clinton indictment in 1998: report Kavanaugh once said president would likely have to testify before grand jury if subpoenaed: report MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyBipartisanship alive and well, protecting critical infrastructure Overnight Defense: Senate sends 7B annual defense bill to Trump's desk | US sanctions Turkish officials over detained pastor | Korean War remains headed to Hawaii | Senators reassure allies on NATO support Dem strategist: It's 'far-left thinking' to call for Nielsen's resignation MORE (Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoThe Hill's Morning Report — Trump heads to New York to shore-up GOP districts They knew it would cause lasting harm, and still took children from parents Dem strategist: It's 'far-left thinking' to call for Nielsen's resignation MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOn The Money: Turkey slaps more tariffs on US goods | Businesses fear blowback from Russia sanctions bill | Senate turns to toughest 'minibus' yet Warren introduces Accountable Capitalism Act Lewandowski says Bloomberg would be 'very competitive' against Trump in 2020 MORE (Mass.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenTrump draws bipartisan fire over Brennan New sanctions would hurt Russia — but hurt American industry more Dems ask Mnuchin to probe Russian investment in state election tech MORE (Md.) are co-sponsors of the bill. Harris said that the bill has received support from over 100 labor and civil rights groups. 

However, the bill likely will go nowhere because Congress and the White House are controlled by Republicans.