Washington State Dairy Workers Challenge Their Exemption From Overtime Pay

Aguilar and Martinez are challenging this labor law exemption in Washington by filing a class-action lawsuiton behalf of all agricultural workers in the state.

News Story (Washington)

Elizabeth Grossman
National Public Radio (NPR)
December 9, 2016

Tags: Workers Rights

Organizations mentioned/involved: Columbia Legal Services (Washington State)


The suit – the first of its kind in Washington – against DeRuyter Brothers Dairy is being filed on behalf of the dairy workers by Columbia Legal Services in Yakima County Superior Court. The suit claims that the lack of overtime pay violates state wage law, which requires overtime pay for more than 40 hours worked per seven-day week, and also violates the state constitution’s protections against discrimination and favoritism, explains Lori Isley, an attorney with Columbia Legal Services. The suit also seeks to recover payment for the dairy’s failure to provide required meal and rest breaks, and failure to pay workers for that time.

“It’s not fair that people who work at a dairy don’t get paid overtime,” says Aguilar. “Everybody else gets paid overtime. We should be treated equally as everybody else.”