By Michael Messina

In a move that would have made Cesar Chavez proud, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that gives farmworkers overtime after an eight-hour day and 40-hour week. The United Farm Workers of America backed the bill and put their stamp on a piece of labor history that will hopefully serve as an example to the whole country.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez has supported the bill along the way, saying in a statement, “People who work on farms and in our homes are some of America’s most vulnerable workers. We all depend on their work to feed and care for our families, but far too often they can’t afford to put food on their own dinner tables.”

The overtime will be phased in over the next few years, lowering the current 10-hour day by a half hour every year until 2022.

The legislation ends an era that has cut farmworkers out of regular overtime pay for nearly 80 years. With the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, agricultural workers were excluded from its standards, and again with California legislation in 1941. The 10-hour day/60-hour week threshold was established in 1976 and had remained unchanged since.

Congratulations to all of California’s farmworkers!

For more info, read the LA Times full article here.

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