Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practice Act is already pushing for amendments

Local News

ALBANY, NY – The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act just went into effect Wednesday in New York State.

But, due to a lawsuit filed by groups of dairy and vegetable farms, there is a temporary restraining order on certain parts of the law.

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca explains.

During the legislative session lawmakers approved new protections for farm laborers.

((Rick Zimmerman, NYS Vegetable Growers Association))
The law is in effect for farm workers out there today, so the opportunity for overtime above 60 hours a week and to form collective bargaining units is in effect right now.

But, on New Year’s Eve a federal court judge put a temporary restraining order on certain aspects of the law.

((Rick Zimmerman, NYS Vegetable Growers Association))
It is a very narrow order to hold the implementation of the law as it pertains to farm families and supervisors and other salaried employees on farms.

Rick Zimmerman with the New York State Vegetable Growers Association says parts of the law conflict with the National Labor Relations Act, and he says it doesn’t provide enough clarity.

((Rick Zimmerman, NYS Vegetable Growers Association))
Farm families today consist of multiple generations, cousins, aunts and uncles, some farms have multiple families on farms and so the law is very unclear about the application of overtime and collective bargaining for this portion of the farm family workforce.

Zimmerman is also urging the legislature to make statutory amendments to the law.

A court hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for January 24th.

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