Just a few months after the state of Washington began its first year of requiring time-and-a-half to farmworkers, Oregon has its own version of Ag overtime on the books. And, according to Pam Lewison with the Washington Policy Center, Oregon’s bill is better than Washington’s bill.


“The Oregon version phases ag overtime in over the next five years. In Washington, there was a three-year phase in beginning this year. Oregon will give it a try starting next year. And they’re easing it in a little bit slower, in increments, then we are.”

And, Lewison said there are a couple of key provisions Washington lawmakers did not consider.

“The first is, farmers, for this first five years in Oregon, will have a tax break. So, they’ll essentially get most of the overtime that they are paying out to their employees back in the form of what is effectively a tax rebate.”

Lewison added Oregon lawmakers included an economic impact study in their legislation.

“During this first phase-in period, they’ll have to do a study to see how it is affecting both the employer and the employees. And then, every six years thereafter, they will have to do the same.”

Meaning, Lewison said, Oregon’s law may not be permanent.

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail gvaagen@cherrycreekmedia.com

More From PNW Ag Network