Justice Too Long Delayed is Justice Denied

An update on farmworker overtime from CLN Member Laurie Konwinski

New York State farmworkers are still not covered by the overtime laws that apply to other hourly workers.  As reported in a recent CLN blog post, New York State established a Wage Board to consider lowering the threshold are which farmworkers are eligible for overtime.  After hearing many hours of testimony, the three-person panel called for overtime for agricultural laborers to remain at the 60-hour per week threshold until January 1, 2024.  At that point, they recommended that the threshold be reduced to 56-hour work week, and continue to be reduced by four hours every two years.  This means it will take until January 1, 2032 for farmworkers to reach parity in overtime protection and be eligible for overtime after 40 hours of work.  Even this decade-long delay in equity is not guaranteed.  The recommendation by the Wage Board is not binding.  It must be approved by the New York State Commissioner of Labor, whose decision has not yet been announced.