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 HarrisWhat to expect when Mueller testifies: Not much Biden compares Trump to George Wallace CNN Democratic debate drawing finishes third in cable news ratings race 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 FeinsteinTop Democrats demand security assessment of Trump properties Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Hillicon Valley: Senators unload on Facebook cryptocurrency plan | Trump vows to 'take a look' at Google's ties to China | Google denies working with China's military | Tech execs on defensive at antitrust hearing | Bill would bar business with Huawei MORE (Calif.), Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage The Hill's Campaign Report: Second debate lineups set up high-profile clash MORE (N.J.), Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Democrats warm to idea of studying reparations Senate Democrat releasing book on Trump admin's treatment of migrants at border MORE (Ore.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDems open to killing filibuster in next Congress Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker Joint chiefs nominee: Trump's transgender policy about 'standards' MORE (Hawaii), Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Gabbard arrives in Puerto Rico to 'show support' amid street protests Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall MORE (Mass.) and Chris Van HollenChristopher (Chris) Van HollenOvernight Energy: USDA expected to lose two-thirds of research staff in move west | EPA hails Trump's work on reducing air pollution | Agency eyes reducing inspections of nuclear reactors USDA expected to lose two-thirds of research staff in move to Kansas City Lawmakers pay tribute to late Justice Stevens 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.