ALBANY, N.Y. (WWTI) — Some groups support the current 60-hour overtime threshold for farms in New York. According to the Grow NY Farms Coalition, the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) has passed a resolution in support of maintaining the overtime threshold at 60 hours for family farms.
The resolution passed during NYSAC’s 2022 Legislative Conference in Albany from March 14 through March 16. This comes in response to the Farm Laborers Wage Board’s proposal to lower the farm labor overtime threshold from 60 to 40 hours.
“New York’s counties are proud to stand with the family farmers and farmworkers who produce the food that fills our grocery store shelves, our school cafeterias, and local food banks in opposing this change to the overtime threshold,” NYSAC President Martha Saerbrey said in a press release. “We need to be doing everything we can to support our local farmers as they confront challenges from increasingly erratic weather and rising costs of feed and fuel, not adding additional burdens that threaten their ability to feed our communities and power local economies.”
In the resolution, NYSAC stated that agriculture is the State’s largest industry and New York number two in the nation for agricultural products donated to food banks. NYSAC said lowering the overtime threshold would negatively impact donations of New York-grown products. Additionally, this could cause labor costs to increase and New York-grown products would be at a competitive disadvantage in neighboring states.