Washington’s Overtime Exemption for Ag Workers Has Been Found Unconstitutional. Is Oregon Next?

Late last year, the Washington Supreme Court handed down a ruling with potentially wide-reaching applications when the state’s highest court found RCW 49.46.130(2)(g), which exempts Washington agricultural workers from collecting overtime pay, unconstitutional as applied to the dairy industry.  In Martinez-Cuevas v. DeReyter Brothers Dairy, Inc., the state’s highest court held that dairy workers are protected by minimum wage laws and entitled to overtime pay.

Now, the Oregon Legislature has taken up the issue in relation to Oregon’s own overtime exemption statute for agriculture workers. Will Oregon opt to join Washington in mandating overtime pay for all of its agricultural workers? What could this mean for agriculture in the PNW?

Dunn Carney’s Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources Team is tracking this evolving agricultural-worker compensation issue and how it may impact your business and employment practices.  Stay tuned for more information on these and related issues from attorneys Tim Bernasek and Stacie Damazo.

Timothy J. Bernasek, Partner
Phone: 503-242-9608
Email: tbernasek@dunncarney.com

Stacie Damazo, Associate
Phone: 503-417-5493
Email: sdamazo@dunncarney.com