Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik today led six of her colleagues in sending a letter to Governor Kathy Hochul urging her to reject the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board’s recent decision to lower the overtime wage threshold.
“The Farm Laborers Wage Board ignored 70% of the testimony that was in favor of keeping a 60-hour a week threshold. Their decision was made for our agricultural community, without considering what the majority of our state’s farmers and farmworkers actually had to say. We stand with these hardworking individuals. As a result of this decision, the future of agriculture in New York State is now in jeopardy,” the lawmakers wrote.
In the letter, the lawmakers pointed out that the Farm Laborers Wage Board ignored a recent report that showed two-thirds of dairy farms interviewed indicated they would be forced to move out of milk production in New York State if the 40-hour week for farmworkers is implemented.
“Additionally, fewer workers and rising labor costs will result in even less locally produced food, causing prices to increase for our local consumers. New York families are already facing significantly higher food costs due to record levels of inflation and cannot afford further increases to their grocery bills that would result from this misguided decision,” the lawmakers continued.
Stefanik opposed the Farm Laborers Wage Board Decision and previously sent a letter to the Wage Board to postpone any consideration of reducing the overtime threshold for farmworkers.
Read full text of the letter here.