As we mentioned last week, Friday was a legislative deadline and two bills to cut back on overtime hours for Washington farmworkers fell victim to that cutoff. The House bill chiefly sponsored by 12th District Rep. Keith Goehner, alongside its companion Senate bill pushed by Sen. Curtis King, would have allowed farm employers to set aside 12 weeks a year where they would only pay overtime after 50 hours. Republicans favored the proposals, as did farm employer advocates like the Washington Farm Bureau and the contract negotiation nonprofit Wafla. Neither bill advanced out of committee in time for last week’s February 17 cutoff to get a floor vote. In recent years, reforms now allow qualify farmworkers for overtime pay, if laborers work 48 hours or more in one work week. In 2024 the threshold falls to the customary 40 hours per week to qualify for overtime pay where it will remain under the new law.
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