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Bob Larson Ag Wage Bill Passes in Senate Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Fruit Grower Report
Date: March 13, 2017

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With today’s Fruit Grower Report, I’m Bob Larson. The Ag-wage bill that passed through the state Senate will help settle claims for back-pay for uncompensated rest breaks, but the version that made it through only did so after some serious trimming …

BRAD HAWKINS … “The original bill, as it was approved by the committee, was a two-part bill. The first part of bill would look ahead and provide the industry clarity on if growers pay employees by the piece or by the pound, it would clarify that. Then the bill also had a look-back and say to satisfy these lawsuits, here’s what employers could do to satisfy these lawsuits.”

Senator Brad Hawkins says the piece-rate compensation part of the bill that was cut, can be revisited again another time …

BRAD HAWKINS … “We decided to look at the political realities, for this legislative session anyway, and realize a little bit of something is better than nothing. I offered a floor amendment on the Senate floor which scaled the original bill back significantly to only the look-back portion of the bill. So, as the bill has now advanced to the state House of Representatives, it’s focused on the look-back provisions on how to compensate employees on past uncompensated breaks. And if they do that, then they will be free from these lawsuits.”

Hawkins says it’s good that SB 5027 made it to the Democrat-controlled House, but it still has to make it through committee.

A similar House bill failed to receive a hearing.

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