In a historic win for farmworkers in Colorado and nationally, SB 87, the Farmworkers’ Bill of Rights passed both chambers of the Colorado legislature just days before the end of session. The bill, championed by lead sponsor Senator Jessie Danielson, is now heading to the Governor’s desk for signing.
Colorado’s Farmworkers’ Bill of Rights will attempt to address the historical exclusion of farmworkers from labor laws and protections. Thanks to SB 87, Colorado farm and agriculture workers will:
- be able to join and organize unions;
- receive overtime pay for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week;
- no longer be exempt from minimum wage laws;
- have the right to meals and rest breaks consistent with other workers;
- have protection from retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions;
Though the bill still needs to be signed into law as well as undergo a rulemaking process, advocates and legislative champions see this as a common sense step towards rectifying historical inequity steeped in racism and brings agriculture workers rights in line with those granted to other industry workers.
Farmworker rights bills are moving! At the federal level the Fairness for Farm Workers Act has been reintroduced this year. Farmworker overtime bills have also been introduced in Maine and Oregon for the 2021 session. Washington state passed a farmworker overtime bill earlier in the 2021 session with significant bipartisan support. If you are a state legislator looking to address farmworker issues in your state reach out to us at [email protected]