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February 24, 2020 - 5:56pm

Labor commission to hold hearing in Batavia April 23 on overtime for farm workers

posted by Howard B. Owens in farm labor, agriculture, batavia, Business.

Press release:

New York State Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon today announced she will convene a wage board for farm laborers that will hold hearings, review and make recommendations regarding overtime work for farm laborers in New York State.

Under the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law last year, farm laborers are entitled to overtime premium pay as of Jan. 1 for any work that they perform in excess of 60 hours per week, and for work performed on their designated day of rest.

As part of that Act, the wage board will consider and make recommendations as to overtime work and, specifically, will hear testimony about reducing the threshold for overtime below 60 hours per week and whether to do so in phases.

“We worked hard to ensure this bill included the proper labor protections and benefits that our farm laborers are entitled to,” Commissioner Reardon said. “We have an opportunity to improve the quality of life for tens of thousands of farmworkers. Overtime is a key component and we need to get it right.”

Convening the Wage Board

As required by the Act, New York State Labor Commissioner Reardon will convene a wage board with the following members:

  • David Fisher, president of the New York Farm Bureau
  • Denis Hughes, former president of the New York State AFL-CIO
  • Brenda McDuffie, president of the Buffalo Urban League

Under the Act, the wage board must hold at least three hearings at which the public will be afforded an opportunity to provide comments. The board will hold five hearings in various parts of the state. The board will carefully consider the input it gathers from farmers and other stakeholders.

The board has until Dec. 31 to make its recommendations, after which the Commissioner will have 45 days to take administrative action on those recommendations.

Public hearings are scheduled as follows:

  • Friday 2/28 – 11 a.m. – Albany – New York State Museum Cultural Education Center, Clark Auditorium, 222 Madison Ave., Albany, NY 12230
  • Friday 3/13 – 11 a.m. – Syracuse – Onondaga Community College, Storer Auditorium, 4585 W. Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215
  • Monday 3/23 – 11 a.m. – Binghamton – Binghamton University, Symposium Hall, Center of Excellence Building Innovative Technology Complex, 45 Murray Hill Road, Vestal, NY 13850
  • Thursday 4/16 – 11 a.m. – Long Island – Brookhaven Town Hall, 1 Independence Hill, Farmingville, NY 11738
  • Thursday 4/23 – 11 a.m. – Batavia – Genesee Community College, William Stuart Forum, 1 College Road, Batavia, NY 14020

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