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Some Dems are having second thoughts about overtime threshold for farmworkers: Economic consequences could be dire

Some Democrats in the state legislature are joining their Republican counterparts calling for changes to the recently approved overtime threshold change for farms in New York.

Last week the state Department of Labor made a decision on the overtime changes, calling them to be phased in over the next decade.

In short, over the next several years the overtime threshold will be lowered from 60 hours to 40. This will bring farms in line with other industries.


That said, some Democrats who supported the measure want to see provisions built in for ‘small farms’. Republicans said for months that this change would be catastrophic to small farms across the state. But Democrats continued advocacy without change.

Now, some Democrats are saying that the change will bankrupt small farms in Upstate New York. They say it’s the ‘one exception’ that should be made in the overtime rule change.

Farmers will be reimburse for part of the overtime change over the next several years. But, the law will require farms to front the cost – something they say isn’t possible.

Advocates for farmworkers say it’s a matter of equity and respect for workers in a dangerous industry.



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