The Irony of the Changes to California's Wage Law -- Disappointment for All

Recently, California adopted two significant changes to its wage and hour laws.  First, it adopted a $15 per hour minimum wage, to be phased in over several years.  This past week, Governor Brown signed a bill giving farm workers overtime compensation after 8 hours per day instead of 10 hours as is currently the law.  This law will also be phased in over several years. 

I spent the morning with a farmer who indicated how his company will react to the changes, and how his employees will be affected.  Consider this:  A farmworker earning $10 per hour, and able to work 60 hours, earns $31,200 today.  When the minimum wage reaches $15, this worker will earn $46,800 ($15 x 3,120 hours).  That's a substantial raise!  However, as the 40-hour workweek is phased in, this farmer will do two things.  First, he will mechanize more to use less labor.  Second, he will limit employees to working 8 hour days.  So the employee will earn $31,200 ($15 x 2,080 hours). 

But wait, isn't that what the employee is earning now?  The irony of it all.