Washington Supreme Court: Farmworkers to be paid for more than just picking crops

The Washington Supreme Court has ruled that farmworkers paid a piece rate as they work in fields and orchards, must get additional wages for their other tasks during the course of a workday.

The 5-4 decision released last Thursday affects wages in a vital part of the state’s economy: the agricultural industry. This industry produces more than $10 billion worth of crops and livestock annually while employing nearly 100,000 farmworkers.

However, thedailyworld.com reports that while the ruling is considered a victory for farmworkers, its practical effect is far from clear. The plaintiffs’ attorney says it will raise the pay of thousands of people who perform hard work in the fields and orchards. But industry representatives questioned whether the workers would end up seeing any net increase in take-home pay.

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