Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Elise Stefanik cosponsored the Protect Local Farms Act (H.R. 8756), led by Congressman Chris Jacobs, today to prevent the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board's recommendation to lower the overtime threshold from 60 hours to 40 hours per week from taking effect.
“I’m standing up for our hardworking farmers and workers devastated by Albany’s out-of-touch decision to lower the farmworker overtime threshold. As this decision jeopardizes New York’s agriculture industry, puts thousands of farm laborers out of work, and makes New York less competitive by sending our workers to neighboring states in the midst of a labor shortage, this bill will set a federal standard to ensure the overtime threshold for agricultural workers cannot be lowered beyond 60 hours a week, so our farmers can continue to operate their farms and New York can continue its strong contributions to our food security. I am proud to provide this critical check on Far-Left Democrats who are crushing out Upstate farmers. Upstate families will always support our farms, because we understand: No farms, no food,” Stefanik said.
“Two days ago, the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board handed down their final recommendation to lower the overtime threshold for farm workers from 60 hours to 40 hours – this is a devastating decision made by out-of-touch bureaucrats which will bankrupt family farms throughout our state and end farming as we know it. If Governor Hochul approves this recommendation, she is signing the death warrant for thousands of farms,” Jacobs said. “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. Our already small workforce will be further depleted as workers seek more hours in other states, and our farmers will face dire financial burdens. That is why I am proud to introduce the Protect Local Farms Act to combat this ignorant decision and keep the threshold at 60 hours. We need our New York farmers – they’re critical to our community, economy, and health.”
The Protect Local Farms Act (H.R. 8756) is designed to combat the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board decision by mandating federally that the overtime threshold for the agriculture industry cannot be set lower than 60 hours per week.
Stefanik has repeatedly 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. In February, Stefanik led the charge and called on Governor Kathy Hochul urging her to reject the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board’s decision to lower the overtime wage threshold.