Miller Urges Labor Commissioner Reardon to Reject Crushing Farm Laborers Wage Board Decision

Statement from Assemblyman Brian Miller (R,C-New Hartford) on the Farm Laborers Wage Board’s decision to decrease the overtime threshold from 60 to 40 hours

“Family farmers and the whole agricultural industry have been sharing their deep concerns about how the change in the overtime threshold would negatively impact farms and, in turn, upstate New York. The Farm Laborers Wage Board’s decision disregards the realities of labor needs on a farm which are heavily determined by seasonal and weather factors. Farm workers have even said they benefit and prefer the abundance of work and are concerned that with this change farm jobs will become less available. This decision could raise operation costs by 40 percent, creating even tighter, unmanageable margins for farmers who are already facing increased prices in fuel and fertilizer. I urge Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon to consider the full costs of implementing such a labor policy and how it would detrimentally change the state’s agricultural sector, putting many family farms out of business.”