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 HarrisThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection California Democrats face crisis of credibility after lawsuits Feehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' 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. 


“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 FeinsteinThis week: Democrats, White House set for infrastructure, budget talks Senate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ Senate confirms controversial 9th Circuit pick without blue slips MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDe Blasio pitches himself as tough New Yorker who can take on 'Don the con' Sanders pledges to only nominate Supreme Court justices that support Roe v. Wade From dive bars to steakhouses: How Iowa caucus staffers blow off steam MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: EPA watchdog finds Pruitt spent 4K on 'excessive' travel | Agency defends Pruitt expenses | Lawmakers push EPA to recover money | Inslee proposes spending T for green jobs Dems request investigation of lobbyist-turned-EPA employee who met with former boss This week: House to vote on bill to ban LGBTQ discrimination MORE (Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoSenate confirms Rosen for No. 2 spot at DOJ Alabama abortion law sparks fears Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade The CASE Act is an opportunity for creators to have rights and remedies MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenThe Memo: Trump faces steep climb to reelection Feehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Overnight Energy: Warren wants Dems to hold climate-focused debate | Klobuchar joins candidates rejecting fossil fuel money | 2020 contender Bennet offers climate plan MORE (Mass.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOn The Money: Judge upholds House subpoena for Trump financial records | Trump vows to appeal ruling by 'Obama-appointed judge' | Canada, Mexico lift retaliatory tariffs on US | IRS audit rate falls Mnuchin signals administration won't comply with subpoena for Trump tax returns Dem lawmakers urge FCC to scrutinize broadcast workforce diversity 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.