ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Farm Laborers Wage Board is advancing its report to lower the overtime threshold for farm workers after a virtual meeting Tuesday. The board held a vote on a proposed report that recommended reducing the overtime threshold from 60 hours to 40 hours per week.
It advanced in a vote of 2 to 1. The report now goes to New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. If the report is approved, the reduction of hours would be phased in over a 10-year period with a reduction of four hours on a biannual basis. This is set to begin in January 2024 and would be complete by January 2032.
“It has been made clear throughout these proceedings that action is needed,” Farm Laborers Wage Board Chair Brenda McDuffie said. “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, does not want the threshold to be lowered. It’s president, David Fisher, 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-on accurate depiction of the data and testimony gathered during the two-year long process,” he said.
Commissioner Reardon now has 45 days to review the report and make her decision.