SB21-87 rulemaking update
CDLE rulemaking: Overtime, break, heat illness, injury, service provider access rules
The Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association and some of its grower members participated in Colorado Department of Labor & Employment stakeholder meetings over the last two weeks. The issue that is potentially the most damaging is the question of how overtime rules will be written. Proponents of the law continue to push for overtime past 40 hours per week and 12 hours per day, which will put most farms out of business. Many employees, especially seasonal employees will not be able to afford to work in Colorado if they are restricted to 40 hours of paid work weekly.
CFVGA grower members care deeply about their employees. Many have employed the same people for decades or even for generations. They communicate off season and many tell stories of visiting their seasonal employees in their home countries. Growers want to have a happy, healthy workforce. And employees, especially the seasonal employees, will tell you they will have to seek employment in other states in order to be able to earn what they have become accustomed to earning. Growers say they wish they could pay their employees more, but the reality is that profit margins on farms are razor thin. Farmers have little leeway to set their prices, and are price takers, not price setters.
It is very important that growers and anyone else who supports and is affected by the Colorado produce industry actively speak against overtime past 40 hours per week. During the rulemaking meetings, growers have been painted in a negative light, which is inaccurate and offensive.
If you would be willing to submit written testimony against this 40 hour per week requirement, please contact CFVGA or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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