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 HarrisO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers 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 FeinsteinOvernight Health Care — Presented by PCMA — FDA issues proposal to limit sales of flavored e-cigs | Trump health chief gets grilling | Divisions emerge over House drug pricing bills | Dems launch investigation into short-term health plans The Hill's Morning Report - Boeing crisis a test for Trump administration Trump faces growing pressure over Boeing safety concerns MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyBusiness groups urge Congress to combat LGBTQ discrimination in workplace Overnight Energy: EPA moves to raise ethanol levels in gasoline | Dems look to counter White House climate council | Zinke cleared of allegations tied to special election Will Washington finally do something about high drug prices? MORE (Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoLiberal commentator: Trump's warning that supporters could play tough is a 'violent dog whistle' Hirono calls out Trump for 'appalling' comments she says encourage violence Overnight Defense: Senate rejects border emergency in rebuke to Trump | Acting Pentagon chief grilled on wall funding | Warren confronts chief over war fund budget MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenO'Rourke faces pressure from left on 'Medicare for all' O'Rourke says he won't use 'f-word' on campaign trail O'Rourke not planning, but not ruling out big fundraisers MORE (Mass.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Manafort sentenced to total of 7.5 years in prison Hillicon Valley: Google takes heat at privacy hearing | 2020 Dems to debate 'monopoly power' | GOP rips net neutrality bill | Warren throws down gauntlet over big tech | New scrutiny for Trump over AT&T merger Trump faces new scrutiny over AT&T-Time Warner merger 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.