New York Farmworker Bill Passes State Assembly

New York’s Farm Worker Fair Labor Practices Act passed the state Assembly Monday and the bill is now in the Rules Committee in the state Senate. The legislation, if passed, would impact labor laws regarding the number of hours a worker puts in each week and how he is to be paid.

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Schenectady County Farm Bureau field adviser Klaus Busch told the Daily Gazette (Schenectady, NY) that if the bill becomes law it will be devastating to the ag industry in New York. “Most of the agriculture in Schenectady County is vegetables,” Klaus told the Daily Gazette. “You would see a lot of farms go under.” Klause added that vegetable farming in the area is dependent on labor from Mexico and Central America.

According to the New York Farm Bureau, the bill will cost the farm families of New York more than $200 million per year, devastating both farmers and farm workers and the overall upstate New York economy.