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Federal legislation introduced to counter New York Farm Laborers Wage Board overtime recommendations

farm tractor in field

Two New York Republican Congresspeople have introduced federal legislation in a bid to stop the state Farm Laborers Wage Board recommendation to lower the overtime threshold from 60 to 40 hours from being implemented.

Elise Stefanik of the 21st district and Chris Jacobs of western New York’s 27th district are co-sponsoring the Protect Local Farms Act. The bill would federally mandate that the overtime threshold for the agriculture industry cannot be set lower than 60 hours a week.

Congressman Jacobs called the wage board’s recommendation Tuesday “ignorant” and added “Farming is not like other industries. It is not a normal work week, subject to weather, and operates within very slim margins. None of these factors were properly considered before this recommendation was made.”

If approved, the wage board recommendation would lower the threshold to 40 hours over 10 years. Supporters of the change say it would bring the state and the industry in line with modern standards.

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