NY Farm Laborer Wage Board recommends 40-hour overtime thresholds

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — The state’s New York Farm Laborer Wage Board gave its final report on lowering the overtime threshold for farm workers in New York.

Tuesday, the Farm Laborer Wage Board officially recommended that state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon decrease the state’s farmworker overtime threshold to 40 hours over the course of the next ten years, beginning Jan. 1, 2024. Farmworkers are one of the only hourly workers in New York state that are denied overtime at 40 hours. The Department of Labor has 45 days to accept, reject, or modify the recommendation.

The board voted in Jan. to gradually lower the threshold from 60 hours to 40 hours. Ahead of the final report, the board is convening a public meeting on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

The state’s plan is to implement the overtime changes over a 10-year period. The final report will go to the state’s Department of Labor Commissioner.

Some western New York farmers have pleaded with the board not to change the overtime hours threshold. They said the extra pay could devastate small businesses. Other farmers support the overtime change.

RE:ATED: NY farms pleading with Gov. Hochul to reject plan to lower overtime threshold

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R, 139), who represents rural Genesee County, and other Republicans sent Hochul a letter highlighting the challenges facing the local farming industry.

“I cannot stress enough that lowering this overtime threshold will only hurt the very people the measure is intended to help,” Hawley said.

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