In November 2020 the Washington Supreme Court overturned a longstanding state law that saw farm work as different from most other work with a need for flexibility in the hours workers could work. 

The five judges who took this action apparently do not understand that farmers cannot raise prices to pass the increased labor costs on. To stay in business, farmers have had to make adjustments.

The employees the judges thought they were helping are deeply unhappy with this decision.

One very disturbing result of the state Supreme Court decision is the flood of litigation launched against Washington’s family dairy farmers claiming now these farmers owe three years back pay to their employees. This is despite the fact that farmers have been following the law on employee pay for years. If successful, these actions will mean the end of almost all farms in Washington state. 

When farmers have been faithfully following a longstanding state law in paying workers, how can it be fair they are now penalized for following the law?

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Read the Capital Press article here.