Spring is here and for many farmers it’s a time when migrant and seasonal workers begin laboring throughout the state. Farmworkers frequently encounter abusive labor practices at the hands of unscrupulous employers. Workers all too often labor for employers who skirt the minimum wage laws or practice other forms of wage theft, work under unhealthy or dangerous conditions, or are made to live in grossly substandard housing. Employment abuses in agriculture are difficult to address because farm work is not covered by many important labor protections enjoyed by most other workers in this country. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (“AWPA”) provides minimum levels of worker protections. FLSA provides for overtime pay by requiring that most laborers who work more than 40 hours in a workweek be paid one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for each hour over forty hours per week. The current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour (as of July 24, 2009). Arkansas is $8.50. Most states have also enacted minimum wage laws.
To view the minimum wage map of the US click here!
Reference: United States DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & farmworkerjustice
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