Tuesday, March 23, at 10:00 am the Washington House of Representatives will hold a hearing on ESSB 5172. This is the bill passed by the WA Senate on a vote of 37 to 12 that would protect farmers from being required to pay three years retroactive overtime pay. It eliminates that demand from the nearly 40 lawsuits that have been filed against Washington family farmers. It protects the jobs of tens of thousands of farmworkers whose futures were threatened by this unfair demand.
While we strongly encourage your support of that provision, we also believe that this bill needs to be improved. As it is, the proposed measure denies farmworkers the flexibility they need to get the work done during time-sensitive harvest seasons and provide the income they need for their families. This is something farmworkers strongly oppose.
If you are a farmworker, we believe your voice is especially important at this time. But, even if you are not, we strongly encourage you to let your support for farmers and farmworkers be known.
To indicate your support for this bill please use this link. You can indicate your support by selecting “PRO” or indicate you are concerned about this bill by selecting “Other.”
We also encourage you to sign up to testify remotely via video conference. If you do, please make it clear in one minute that you strongly support the protections against lawsuits and retroactive pay, but you strongly support proposed changes to the bill that are needed for seasonal flexibility in pay so farmworkers can earn the money they need for their families.
You can also use this tool below to send a message to legislators: