WASHINGTON— Today, Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva reintroduced the ‘Fairness for Farm Workers Act’ in the House of Representatives. The legislation will amend the Fair Labor Standards Act and end the minimum wage and overtime pay exemptions for farm workers. For decades, FLSA has excluded farm workers from overtime pay and the minimum wage.
“Farm workers work long hours in one of the most hazardous industries in America to ensure that all of us have access to quality food,” said Rep. Grijalva. “It’s unacceptable that so many live in poverty, and it’s time for farm workers to receive the wages they deserve. By amending the law, we are remedying decades of economic inequality rooted in racism and ensuring that the Fair Labor Standards Act truly lives up to its name for all American workers. Those who undertake the back-breaking labor to feed our constituents should be able to adequately provide for their own families.”
Senator Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) is reintroducing the companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
“It is absolutely unconscionable that many farmworkers—people who often work over 12 hours a day in the hot sun—do not receive overtime pay for the hard work they do to put food on the tables of American families,” said Senator Harris. “This legislation is a major step towards economic justice for our farmworkers, and I’m proud to reintroduce it and continue this fight for basic fairness.”
The 1938 Fair Labor Standards Act established federal standards for minimum wage and overtime pay, but the law excluded millions of domestic and agriculture workers who were overwhelmingly people of color. Farm workers gained some minimum wage protections in 1966, but exclusions on overtime persist to this day. The Fairness for Farm Workers Act would gradually implement overtime pay over the course of four years and bring greater equity to the American agricultural industry.
Click here for a full list of organizations supporting the bill.
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