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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 HarrisHarris presses young people to vote early in Iowa trip We need economic progress for more Americans Booker bill would create federally funded savings account for every child 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 FeinsteinPoll: Feinstein holds 18-point lead over challenger Durbin to Trump: ‘We’re the mob? Give me a break’ Sen. Walter Huddleston was a reminder that immigration used to be a bipartisan issue MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerOn The Money: Trump to seek new round of tax cuts after midterms | Mnuchin meets with Saudi crown prince | Trump threatens to cut foreign aid over caravan Booker bill would create federally funded savings account for every child Big Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleySanders, Harris set to criss-cross Iowa Dem senator calls for US action after 'preposterous' Saudi explanation Graham: Saudi’s findings on slain journalist not 'credible' MORE (Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoKavanaugh tensions linger after bitter fight Chris Cuomo: Presumption of innocence didn't apply to Kavanaugh because it wasn't a court case Lindsey Graham hits Dem senator: 'The Hirono standard is horrific' MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren wants probe into whether former U.S. soldiers worked as assassins for UAE 'Broad City' stars urge Clinton not to run again Big Dem donors stick to sidelines as 2020 approaches MORE (Mass.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenDem senator: 'Shameful' seeing Trump serve as 'mouthpiece' for Saudi leaders Overnight Defense: Trump says 'rogue killers' could be behind missing journalist | Sends Pompeo to meet Saudi king | Saudis may claim Khashoggi killed by accident | Ex-VA chief talks White House 'chaos' | Most F-35s cleared for flight Democrats torch Trump for floating 'rogue killers' to blame for missing journalist 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.