Gov. Cuomo signs Farm Workers Bill into law

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ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) — Gov. Cuomo has signed the Farm Workers Bill into law.

Establishing the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, farm workers’ rights will be protected and they’ll have adequate housing and working conditions.

Specifically, the bill makes sure that farm workers get overtime pay, at least one day off each week, disability compensation, paid family leave coverage, unemployment benefits and other protections.

Here’s a breakdown of what this ensures, according to Cuomo’s office:

  • Grants collective bargaining rights to farm laborers;
  • Requires employers of farm laborers to allow at least 24 consecutive hours of rest each week;
  • Provides for 60-hour work week for farm workers;
  • Requires overtime rate at one and one-half times normal rate; 
  • Makes provisions of unemployment insurance law applicable to farm laborers and reduces costs to farmers for ineligible workers (H-2A); 
  • Ensures sanitary codes apply to all farm worker housing, regardless of the number of occupants;
  • Removes a payroll threshold for requiring farm labor employers to obtain workers’ compensation coverage;
  • Allows farm laborers to receive disability and Paid Family Leave benefits; and
  • Requires reporting of injuries to employers of farm laborers.

“This new law is not just a great achievement in terms of the effect on the human condition, it’s also a milestone in the crusade for social justice,” Cuomo said. “By signing this bill into law, 100,000 farmers and their families will have better lives and will finally have the same protections that other workers have enjoyed for over 80 yearsThis powerful and practical achievement is even more significant in the era of President Trump who continually diminishes workers’ rights, attacks labor unions, disrespects the disenfranchised and has made divide and conquer, rather than unify and grow, the credo of America.”

These changes will take effect on January 1.

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