New York

Republican Bill Blocks Farm Overtime Pay Changes | News

As New York seeks to lower overtime standards for farm workers, Republicans have introduced federal legislation to block state action.

US Congressman Chris Jacobs introduced a bill called the Protect Local Farms Act. The wording of the bill is simple and clear. This adds priority to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, which prevents states from setting a farm worker’s maximum work week to less than his 60 hours.

The law responds to the New York Farm Workers Wages Commission’s recommendation to reduce overtime on farms from 60 hours to 40 hours over the next 10 years. The phased approach won’t start until 2024 if approved by Roberta Reardon of the State Labor Board. Every two years the overtime threshold will be lowered by his four hours until in 2032 she reaches the 40 hour mark.

Reardon has 45 days to review the Wage Commission’s report and accept or reject its findings.

Republican Rep. Claudia Tenney, who is running to represent the new 24th congressional district, urged Reardon to reject the proposal. But if she doesn’t, her Tenney-co-sponsored bill in R-Canandaigua will preempt state regulation.

“New York family farms power our state and feed our families. They can’t afford or deserve these additional price increases,” Tenney said. said.

The impact of this law will affect two other states, California and Washington, which have introduced a 40-hour overtime threshold for farm workers.

Proponents of lower overtime standards say they amend a decades-old decision that excluded farm workers. While workers in other industries have long been receiving overtime after working 40 hours a week, farm workers have not.

Opponents, especially farmers, say it is detrimental to farms already struggling with inflation and the impact of COVID-19. A survey of farmers found that some farms could close or move out of state if floors on overtime hours were adopted.

Via AP Storyshare Republican Bill Blocks Farm Overtime Pay Changes | News

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