Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio (R,C,I-Gowanda) joined Assembly Minority colleges at a press conference today with farmers and agricultural advocates calling for Gov. Hochul and Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon to reject a reduction in the farm laborer overtime threshold from 60 hours to 40.
Over the last several months, farmers throughout the state have expressed concern that cost increases caused by this policy could force many of them to consider closing down their operations. Most farmers have no choice but to have their laborers work over 40 hours in order to properly care for crops and animals that could otherwise die in the face of inclement weather and other factors out of a farmer’s control.
“Farming is an incredibly unique industry, and in New York it is an especially challenging place to grow enough produce within a year to make ends meet, as we have a singular growing season that can last just over half of the year,” said Giglio. “Even moving to a 60-hour threshold hurt our farmers badly, and in speaking with farmers, I agree they have good reason to fear that the lower threshold could put their farms under for good. The loss of farms will come with a loss of farm labor jobs, so I implore Commissioner Reardon and Gov. Hochul to listen to our farmers to avoid jeopardizing the well-being of both farmers and the farm laborers this policy was intended to help.”