Farmworkers’ advocates seek improved wage and hour laws

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Wage & Hour Pay Disputes |

In Colorado, there might be a perception that overtime is available for every worker. However, that is not the case. The type of work a person does and the industry they are in might leave them ineligible for various benefits such as overtime. Employees, their advocates and supporters will often try to change the law to help people in this situation. It is important to be aware of possible changes as they are being proposed or are in the process of being implemented. When employees need guidance with any employment-related issue, it is useful to have professional advice.

Farmworkers seek better overtime protection as new rules are unveiled

A law passed in 2021 granted agriculture workers in the state overtime rights. Even with that, the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) only recently presented its overtime rules. If they go into effect, they will start in November 2022. From then through the end of 2023, these workers would receive overtime if they work at least 60 hours in a week.

Starting in 2024 and through 2025, it would lower to 56 hours if it is a small employer and for those who work seasonally with 22 “peak” weeks of employment. For other employers, it will be 48 hours. Since the Latino community is so heavily represented in the agriculture industry, its leaders are asking for overtime pay to begin at 40 hours as it does with other jobs. In response to their request, regulatory agencies say that phasing in the new overtime laws is a sound strategy as the industry itself changes. It is also said to benefit employers.

Workers in all industries should know their rights to overtime

As this back and forth shows, overtime can be a confusing part of wage and hour laws. People either might not know they are entitled to overtime after a certain number of hours, could face misclassification or could find themselves deprived of the overtime they were legally supposed to receive. If this is suspected or there is blatant proof that it has happened, it is imperative to understand what steps are available to get the full salary the worker is entitled to, including overtime. Consulting with those who fully understand the law, changes that are coming and how to pursue a case is essential.