Session Update! CLS advocates are working hard to advance racial and economic equity in Washington this legislative session. Here’s an update from week four:


HB 1523/SB 5476 a “seasonality exemption” limiting overtime pay for farm workers

Smiling farm worker picking apples.

Opponents of fair pay for farm workers have introduced a bill to allow agricultural employers to choose any 12 weeks per year to deny overtime before 50 hours per week. While this may appear limited in scope, a typical harvest season is twelve weeks at most, and farm workers often move around the state with the crop seasons, working for different employers at each harvest. This proposal could deny workers full overtime pay from June through November, exactly when they need it most. This bill follows a long history of racism embedded in our agricultural employment laws and would roll back the right to overtime pay that Washington farm workers finally won in in 2020.

Please help farm workers defend this hard-won right by:

Where are CLS’ other priority bills right now?

Real Labor, Real Wages (HB 1024, Simmons): The bill was heard in the House Appropriations committee on January 30.

Unemployment protections for immigrant workers (SB 5109, Saldaña /HB 1095, Walen): HB 1095 was heard in the House Labor Committee on January 13th and SB 5109 was heard in the Senate Labor & Commerce committee on January 26th.

Eliminating harmful LFOs (HB 1169, Simmons): This bill was heard in House Civil Rights & Judiciary on January 18th and is waiting to be heard in Appropriations.

Health Equity for Immigrants: The coalition is working with appropriators to fully fund coverage for adult immigrants whose status bars them from accessing Medicaid.

Fairness and transparency in landlord damage claims (HB 1074, Thai): This bill is in the Rules committee after being voted out of the Housing Committee last week.

SB 5476: Rollback of overtime pay for farm workers

February 9th @ 8 am in the Senate Committee on Labor & Commerce

Authorizing agricultural employers to select 12 weeks a year to employ workers for up to 50 hours a week before overtime applies.

What you can do to support:

  • Take 1 minute and log in as “con” prior to the hearing next week! Click here and fill in your information. This is an easy way to support that only takes a second!

You have until 7 am on February 9th to sign in!

SB 5109/HB 1095: Unemployment protections for immigrant workers

Creating a wage replacement program for certain Washington workers excluded from unemployment insurance.

What you can do to support:

  • Thank Chair Keiser and Chair Berry for hearing the bills and supporting the effort, and ask the Chairs to exec the bills out of committee. 

Stay tuned for more updates and learn more about CLS’ 2023 legislative efforts here.