Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today sent a letter urging the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board to postpone any consideration of reducing the overtime threshold for farm workers.
In the letter, Stefanik warned that the proposed consideration of lowering the overtime threshold from 60 hours per week would harm North Country farms, raise the labor costs by $264 million per year across the state, lead to higher unemployment, and cause the price of local products to increase.
“Our New York farms are in jeopardy once again as the Board reconvenes to consider lowering the overtime threshold…Sadly, many New York farms, including those who have been in business for multiple generations, would not be able to survive this change. This would also put thousands of farm laborers out of work, increasing the unemployment rate in New York and across the nation,” Stefanik wrote.
The letter was addressed to Governor Kathy Hochul, New York Farm Laborers Wage Board Chair Brenda McDuffie, New York State Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon, and New York State Department of Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball.
“Agriculture contributes nearly $6 billion per year to the state’s economy , and we remain one of the top producing states for apples and dairy in the nation. If the overtime threshold is lowered below 60 hours per week, our state’s economy and agricultural industry will undoubtedly suffer,” Stefanik concluded.
Read the full letter here.