ARCADIA, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2012) -- AB 1313 imposes costly new mandates on California farmers that will limit their ability to maintain their operations and will place them at a competitive disadvantage.
Given the seasonal and unique nature of agriculture production, farmers are exempted under both state and federal law from the eight-hour workday so as to provide farmers with greater flexibility with scheduling employees.
Currently, farmers are required to pay overtime to their employees after ten hours of work in any workday or after six days of work in any workweek.
AB 1313 would remove this exemption and force farmers to pay overtime rates to agricultural employees after eight hours of work in any workday or forty hours of work in a workweek. Removal of this exemption will significantly increase farmers' cost of doing business.
- During a time in which farmers in California are struggling to keep their farms open, this increased burden will force them to: Completely shut down;
- Avoid overtime by limiting employees' hours, thereby cutting employees' pay;
- Reduction of jobs; or
- Pass the increased costs onto consumers.
Any of these four options will interfere with California farmers' ability to remain competitive with other states.
Job growth in the private sector, including the agricultural industry, is a key to helping our economy recover. Saddling private industries with new and costly burdens such as AB 1313 will only hamper California's economic growth and potentially contribute to the unemployment rate, which is currently the third highest in the nation. (Published by http://cajobkillers.com).
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