CONTACT: Evan McLaughlin
Legislators and Faith Leaders Lead 24-Hour Fast for Farmworker Overtime
Participants will rally support for fair overtime rules for farmworkers contained in AB 1066
WHAT: Assemblywoman Gonzalez will be among legislators, faith leaders, and members of United Farm Workers participating in a 24 hour fast in solidarity with farmworkers seeking fair overtime through Assembly Bill 1066. The 24-hour fast will begin at a kickoff rally on the North Steps of the Capitol and conclude with a celebration service at the Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament. Following the conclusion of the fast on August 17, participants and supporters will meet with legislators about the importance of the legislation. AB 1066 recently passed the Senate Appropriations Committee and is now pending before the full State Senate.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
North Steps, State Capitol
Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Cathedral of Blessed Sacrament
1017 11th Street, Sacramento, CA, 95814
WHO: Speakers at the kickoff press event include Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, Assemblyman Rob Bonta, Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, Father Victor Jimenez, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Sacramento, CA, and Marc Grossman, Cesar Chavez Foundation. Assemblymembers Nora Campos, David Chiu, Kansen Chu, Cristina Garcia, Kevin McCarty, Jose Medina, Miguel Santiago, and Tony Thurmond will be among legislators and faith leaders participating in a 24 hour fast in solidarity with farmworkers seeking fair overtime through Assembly Bill 1066.
Beginning in 2019, Assembly Bill 1066 would gradually phase in standards for farmworker overtime lowering the current 10-hour day level to the standard 8-hour day, and establishing for the first time a 40-hour standard workweek, over a four-year period. Beginning in 2019, the phase-in would be by annual half-hour-per-day increments until reaching eight hours, and annual five-hour-per-week increments until reaching 40 hours. Both final standards would be achieved in 2022. AB 1066 additionally authorizes the Governor to temporarily suspend a scheduled phase-in of overtime at any time until full implementation of phase-in overtime requirements or January 1, 2022, whichever comes first, if the Governor suspends minimum wage increases based on economic conditions.
In 1938, Congress passed the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which established the minimum wage, recordkeeping, child labor standards and overtime pay eligibility. However, the FLSA failed to include agricultural workers throughout the United States, and in 1941, the state Legislature officially exempted all agricultural workers from statutory requirements of overtime. In 1976, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation establishing a modified standard for these workers still in effect today, with a 10-hour day and 60-hour week. Those 40-year-old overtime thresholds for agricultural workers haven’t been updated since.
In March, the importance of legislation to normalize overtime rules for California farmworkers received strong backing in a letter from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who said, “it reflects our shared commitment to fair and humane working conditions for those whose labor feed our nation and much of the world.”
In 2014, California’s farms and ranches brought in $54 billion in revenue. More than 90 percent of California farmworkers are Latino and more than 80 percent are immigrants. Recent data also found the median personal income of California farmworkers to be just $14,000.
AB 1066 is officially introduced by Assemblymembers Gonzalez and joint authors Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), Cristina Garcia (D-Downey), Roger Hernández (D-West Covina), Reginald Jones-Sawyer, Sr. (D-Los Angeles), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), and Tony Thurmond (D-Oakland) with Senator Isadore Hall (D-San Pedro) serving as principal co-author. Additional coauthors are Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco), Kansen Chu (D-Milpitas), Mike Gatto (D-Burbank), Patty Lopez (D-San Fernando), Jose Medina (D-Riverside), Mark Stone (D-Santa Cruz), Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), and Shirley Weber (D-San Diego); and Senators Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica), Marty Block (D-San Diego), Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles), and Bill Monning (D-Monterey).
Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez represents California’s 80th Assembly District, located in southern San Diego County including the cities of San Diego, Chula Vista and National City. For more information on Assemblywoman Gonzalez, visit http://asmdc.org/members/a80/.