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New York State Farmworkers Win Basic Labor Rights & Protections

Last week, the New York State legislature approved new protections for farmworkers, titled The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, extending a number of labor rights to farmworkers for the first time in New York state.

The landmark legislation gives farmworkers the right to receive overtime pay one and a half times their regular wages after they have worked more than 60 hours in a week. They also now have the right to one full day of rest per week, eligibility for unemployment insurance and workers compensation coverage. Farmworkers will also have the right to organize to join a union and bargain with employers, however, a no-strike clause, preventing a work stoppage during planting and harvest seasons, was also included.

Farmworkers deserve the same labor rights that most New Yorkers already have, the state’s 1930s labor laws excluded farmworkers, preventing them from organizing to negotiate for better pay and conditions.

This win is the culmination of a decades-long fight by countless advocates to ensure farmworkers are treated with fairness, equality and justice in the workplace.