Signed into law by Gov Brown on 4-15-22
Status (overview) of bill: https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2022R1/Measures/Overview/HB4002
Amendment B modifies tax credit percentages. Increased annual credit limit to $55 million per calendar year. Requires report on impacts of overtime compensation requirements. Requires recommendations for legislation from Department of Agriculture and Oregon Business Development Department. But does not change government overreach.
This bill prohibits employers from permitting or requiring agricultural workers to work in excess of maximum allowable hours unless workers are compensated for overtime hours worked. Creates refundable credit against corporate tax for percentage the reduces to zero in 2029 based on paid overtime by a crop or animal production business. [as amended]
Personal Choice and Responsibility
Let individuals negotiate their hours without government interference.
Allows nonresidents to claim prorated credit. Requires Department upon receipt of application to allow an extension for filing the taxpayer’s income or corporate excise tax return. Provides that amount certified for tax credit may not exceed $27 million for all taxpayers for any calendar year and requires credits to be reduced proportionally if the amount certified exceeds the maximum. Appropriates funds to Department for administration of refundable credit
Big government needs to let free market work. Over protecting immigrants that come to work the fields can sign their own agreement to work longer hours in peek harvest because when the harvest is done, there is no work.
Mandating Ag overtime was introduced in the 2021 session, and was one of many threats against agriculture and the stakes are even higher with a lawsuit trying to bypass the Legislative process and force overtime mandates through Bureau of Labor and Industry (BOLI). This is a complex issue, made even more challenging by the staggering diversity in Oregon Agriculture (225 different commodities grown!). No two farms are the same, and neither are their staffing requirements—making a one-size-fits-all approach to overtime devastating for most Oregon’s farms.
Agriculture is seasonal and dependent on weather windows and limited by the perish-ability of produce. When fruit is ripe, the job doesn’t get done in a typical 9-5 day. Farms can’t pass along added labor costs. Unlike most industries, produce prices get set by the commodity market, and prices can’t be raised just because our costs go up. Other states’ mandates led to capped hours and lower paychecks. Farms are forced to invest in mechanization and cap employees’ hours to reduce labor costs. Farms will be forced to reduce benefits to offset labor cost increases. Most farms provide benefits beyond an hourly wage, but those incentives are not being considered. 95% of Oregon farms are family-owned businesses. Smaller farms are the least able to absorb added labor costs.