Capital Press Cites Adam Belzberg on Lawsuit Over Pay for Breaks for Piece-rate Berry Pickers

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Partner Adam Belzberg was cited in Capital Press in an article titled “Sakuma attorney: Piece-rate pay rewards pickers.” The article discusses a lawsuit filed by piece-rate berry pickers employed in Washington state that seeks  compensation for the 10-minute rest breaks the workers are entitled to take every four hours. The workers argued that the current administrative rule excludes them from a benefit guaranteed to employees paid in other circumstances.

Belzberg, who represented defendant Sakuma Brothers Farms, argued in the brief filed for the company that the current rule exempting employers from compensating piece-rate workers for rest breaks rewards more productive workers and that changing the rule would interfere with the historical right of workers to engage in piece-rate agreements with employers.

“Sakuma’s piece-rate system incentivizes employees by awarding harder-working and more productive workers with greater earnings, which is why the system is so popular in industries, like agriculture, where output is easily measured,” Belzberg wrote.

The state Supreme Court hears oral arguments in March of this year.

Read “Sakuma attorney: Piece-rate pay rewards pickers,” published January 12, 2015. 

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