Oregon Senate passes bill giving farmworkers overtime protection

Oregon Capital
Oregon Capital(KPTV)
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 1:09 PM PST
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SALEM Ore. (KPTV) – The Oregon Senate has passed a new bill establishing overtime requirements for farmworkers.

House Bill 4002 passed Thursday on a vote of 17 to 10, which will eventually require overtime payment after 40 hours of work. However, these changes will be phased in over five years, according to Oregon Senate Democrats.

The passed bill will counteract the Fair Labor Standards Act, passed in 1938, which excluded agricultural workers from overtime pay protections at both the state and federal level.

“Oregon’s agricultural workers should not be excluded from the same protections afforded to other Oregon workers,” said Senator Kathleen Taylor (D-Portland). “We have a responsibility to ensure farmworkers in Oregon are paid fairly for their skilled and essential labor.”

The phase-in period for House Bill 4002 will begin at 55-hours per week for 2023-24, moving down to 48 hours per week for 2025-26 and then the targeted 40 hours per week beginning in 2027.

“Today, Oregon legislators took action and sent a message to farmworkers that they, too, deserve fair overtime compensation — just like other hourly workers,” said Reyna Lopez, Executive Director for PCUN, Oregon’s farmworker union.

House Bill 4002 now goes to the Gov. Brown for her signature.