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As the most reliable and balanced news aggregation service on the internet, DML News App offers the following information published by WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM:

Oregon Democrats’ last-ditch effort to guarantee overtime pay for farmworkers could see the state pick up the tab for small farms.

House Bill 2358 is the most recent piece of legislation that would mandate overtime pay for farmworkers after 40 hours in a workweek at one-and-a-half times regular wage. It would include farmworkers who work by piece-rate or hourly. In effect, it would extend the same overtime benefits to farmworkers that have been available to most of the U.S. workforce since the Federal Labor Standards Act of 1938.

The article goes on to state the following:

If passed, HB 2358 would see Oregon join five other states—Washington, Hawaii, California, New York, Maryland and Minnesota—in having at least partial overtime pay protections for farmworkers. Advocates for the bill, including the immigrant rights group Causa Oregon and activist groups like Farmworker Justice, see it as a step towards closing the racial gaps in farmworker benefits.

The report quotes one farmer, Mark Ward, a potato grower, as saying HB 2358 would be the killing blow to his farm, which sees thin profit margins already.

Ward said, “We cannot pass this cost on to our customers, we grow under a negotiated preseason contract that will be down 3% this year with costs of production increasing 4%. We cannot absorb any more financial burdens in the current market environment.”

Gordy Webster, whose family runs a tree nursery in Boring, Oregon, warned, “If this bill is passed, when the weather says work, we will be forced to stop our employees after 40 hours and hire some cheaper contract labor to fill in the void. This will cause our employees the added stress of searching for other part time work to get more hours in the week. We would rather have them work for us and make a good living doing so.”

To get more information about this article, please visit WASHINGTONEXAMINER.COM.

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