ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–In a virtual meeting on Tuesday, The Farm Laborers Wage Board held a vote on a proposed report that recommended reducing the overtime threshold for farm laborers from 60 hours to 40 hours a week.
In a vote 2 to 1 it advanced. The report now goes to the New York State Labor Commissioner.
If the commisioner does approve it, the reduction of hours would be phased in over a 10 year period with a reduction of 4 hours on a biannual basis. This is set to begin in January of 2024 and would be complete by January of 2032.
“It has been made clear throughout these proceedings, that action is needed,” said Brenda McDuffie, Board Chair. “It’s our duty to protect tens of thousands of farm workers and align their rights with those in other industries. We also have a duty to protect the farmers.”
The New York Farm Bureau, however, doesn’t want the threshold to be lowered to 40 hours. It’s president voted against advancing the report and a virtual press conference was held after the board meeting.
“I voted to oppose the wage board report on the overtime threshold, because it’s not a full an accurate depiction of the data and testimony gathered during the 2 year long process,” stated David Fisher, Farm Bureau President.
The New York State Labor Commissioner now has 45 days to review the report and make her decision.