Proposal to give overtime to Oregon farmworkers passes House

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A bill that would give overtime protections to Oregon farmworkers passed the House 37-23 Tuesday and will next head to the Senate for consideration.

Proponents say it would provide equal protection for farmworkers who haven’t been able to earn overtime because of an 80-year-old federal exclusion based in racism.

Opponents say the bill will be financially crippling for small family farms and will force them to cap shifts at 40 hours per week rather than pay overtime, which ultimately will mean less money for farmworkers. Under the bill, overtime would be phased in over five years.

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