ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)– The Farm Laborers Wage Board is expected to meet virtually on Tuesday and provide its final report to the New York State Department of Labor Commissioner.
After several meetings, the farm laborer wage board back in January came up with the recommendation to reduce the overtime threshold for farm laborers from 60 hours to 40 hours a week.
This would be phased in over a 10 year period with a reduction of four hours on a biannual basis. The reduction of hours would begin in January of 2024 and would be complete by January of 2032.
However, not everyone is happy with the proposed recommendations.
“I’m disappointed,” stated Assemblyman Chris Tague. “You know, everything is pointing towards they are going to lower the threshold. I think it’s an awful decision.”
Assemblyman Tague has been vocal in his opposition. He worried that if this is implemented, more family farms will go under and it will be harder for farmers to keep workers.
“These farm workers are not going to come back to New York State. If you limit them to 40 hours a week, they are going to lose in some cases, $300-400 a week in pay. They are going to go to a neighboring state where the rules are the same as the way ours used to be, and they are going to work there.”
Some who support the wage board’s recommendations say laborers shouldn’t be working long overtime hours because it takes a toll on their health and bodies.
In a statement, Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon said in part, “ I look forward to reviewing the board’s report and recommendations before announcing my decision.”
Once the report is turned in, she will have 45 days to do so.