As we get ready to celebrate Labor Day weekend, please remember that some workers are still not entitled to the 8 hour work day that many of us take for granted. Today is the last day for your Assemblymember to vote in favor of this bill that will give farm workers the same overtime after an 8 hour work day as any other worker. Please e-mail your assembly member now and ask them to support this bill.
It has been 74 years since farm workers and domestic workers were left out of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, the landmark federal law setting minimum wages and overtime for nearly all American workers.
To win votes from Southern lawmakers back in 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt was forced to exempt farm and domestic workers. Nearly all of those workers in the Southern U.S. then were African Americans. Today in California and across the country, most farm workers are Latinos.
The United Farm Workers is sponsoring AB 1313, by Assemblymember Michael Allen (D-Santa Rosa), to provide overtime pay for farm workers after eight hours a day or 40 hours a week. This bill passed the state Senate and is now on the Assembly floor. Today at midnight is the deadline to vote for the bill and send it to CA Gov. Jerry Brown. Can you please send your Assemblymember an email today asking him/her to vote for this vital bill?
The exclusion of farm workers from overtime after eight hours was wrong in 1938. It is wrong now. The time has come for it to end. California provides 80 percent of the nation's fresh produce and as a result its agricultural laws set the standard for the nation. Tell your Assemblymember to end this shameful legacy of racism in California by voting in favor of AB 1313.