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March 19, 2022 - 5:54pm

Jacobs, Hawley, Rath call on Hochul to reject lowering overtime threshold for ag workers

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Press release:

Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27), NYS Senator Ed Rath (R,C,I - Amherst), and NYS Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) held a press conference this morning to call on Governor Hochul to reject the NYS Farm Laborers Wage Board’s decision to lower the overtime threshold from 60 hours a week to 40 hours.

“Farming is already a business suffering from labor shortages with incredibly tight margins, if the Governor were to accept this decision it would have disastrous impacts on the viability of agriculture in our state and the security of our rural economies,” Jacobs said. “Lowering the threshold would force producers and workers out of our state, and bankrupt generation family farms. I urge the Governor to reject this decision – made at the expense of our farmers – our region’s future prosperity depends on it.”

"The decision by the Farm Laborers Wage Board to lower overtime hours from 60 to 40 hours is fatal to our farms. As the largest industry in New York, agriculture is a vital part of our Upstate community. With this overtime change, many family farms will not survive. I have spoken with countless farmers and farm workers who have shared their concerns with this hour reduction. I remain deeply troubled by this decision and the impact it will have, not only in my district but across our State," Rath said.

“Our state’s agribusinesses and rural communities are staring down the edge of a cliff as they eagerly wait to see whether Gov. Hochul will stand up for them, or for the special interests who’ve been pushing this policy through the bureaucratic process,” Hawley said. “Farmers, lawmakers, farm laborers and experts alike have made clear the devastating consequences this decision will have on agriculture. In this moment, Gov. Hochul has the power to save agriculture in New York state, or put it down a path that will cause it to become something completely unrecognizable. Having represented a rural part of upstate New York in Congress, I sincerely hope she understands how dangerous this decision would be not just for farmers, but for rural communities throughout the state.”

Jacobs recently joined the New York Republican Congressional Delegation in sending a letter to Governor Hochul outlining the disastrous impacts of this recommendation from the wage board and urging her to reject it. You can read that letter here.

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