SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Farmworkers in the nation's largest agricultural state will be entitled to the same overtime pay as most other hourly workers under a new law signed Monday by California Gov. Jerry Brown.
Brown, a Democrat, announced that he had signed legislation that chips away at a nearly 80-year-old practice of applying separate labor rules to farmhands.
Brown signed the bill following a push by the United Farm Workers union and its allies, who say exempting farmworkers from labor laws is racist and unfair.
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Agricultural groups warn the change will severely harm one of California's largest industries.
The new law will be phased in beginning in 2019.
California employers currently must pay time-and-a half to farmworkers after 10 hours in a day or 60 hours in a week. That's longer than the overtime pay for other workers, who get it after eight hours a day or 40 hours a week.