Family farms propose alternative Oregon solution to ag overtime

SALEM, Ore. – Today, Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany) is submitting an agriculture overtime proposal from agriculture communities to find a unique solution to meet the needs of Oregon’s farm employees and preserves the state’s agricultural sectors.

This plan would offer state money to essential farm employees with a $50 million dollar grant and protects their health and safety. With this proposal employees would have new overtime earning opportunities while providing farmers and ranchers with flexibility for crop harvests dictated by time and weather.

As Oregonians committed to an Oregon solution, the plan proposes overtime pay at 48 hours and with overtime at 55 hours during a limited period when harvesting is busiest. Salaried workers, many who need flexibility to care for livestock, could make a base salary exceeding $36,000 in rural counties while earning overtime pay when they work more than 55 hours a week.

“We will continue to ask our colleagues to come to the table for an Oregon solution to overtime,” said Representative Shelly Boshart Davis (R-Albany), a third-generation farmer. “This plan incorporates feedback from the agriculture community and recognizes two critical needs we all value: the health, safety and economic opportunity for our farm workforce; and the fickle nature of our diverse agricultural and rural economies that are heavily dependent on seasons and weather.”

“A true Oregon solution to agriculture overtime will fulfill our obligation of putting the health and future opportunities of our workforce first,” said Representative Daniel Bonham (R-The Dalles), Vice-Chair of the House Business and Labor Committee. “We look forward to working with labor advocates and the farming community to gain support for an approach that puts money directly into the hands of our important workforce, while protecting their jobs and our family-owned farms and ranches.”

“Our farmers and ranchers aren’t looking for a hand-out, we just want to keep farming,” added Rep. Boshart Davis. “Our farmworkers and our farms are facing a myriad of headwinds, from skyrocketing inflation to shipping costs to decreasing commodity prices due to competition from other states and countries. We’re proud to answer the call to find an Oregon solution.”

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