Union workers will begin an awareness drive to get millions of dollars in back pay paid to farm workers that a new law says are owed wages that went unpaid for rest periods and “unproductive time,” United Farm Workers of America said.
The drive begins Tuesday in Monterey, Sonoma, Madera, Fresno, Kern and Ventura counties, and is aimed at workers owed money under a law that officially goes into effect Jan. 1, 2016.
The law states that workers who weren’t paid correctly from July 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2015 are entitled to back pay for rest periods and “unproductive time,” which is time that includes when farm workers must travel, change fields or undergo training, exercises or classes.
The UFW estimates many farm workers will receive back pay amounting to $8 or more per day or $48 or more per week in rest back pay.
“The total amount of back pay employers will owe California farm workers over the last three and one-half years will easily reach millions of dollars,” the UFW said.
Employers who pay employees what they’re owed will become immune to civil action, the law says.