Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Opinion Against Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act

The Farm Workers Fair Labor Practices Act passes a couple of weeks ago in the state Assembly. Mostly Downstate and NYC assembly members voted in favor of it.

Assembly members from Central New York -- Bill Magee, William Magnarelli, Al Stirpe, Claudia Tenney, Will Barclay, Bob Oaks, Tony Brindisi, Gary Finch, Brian Kolb and Marc Butler -- voted against the proposal. Assemblyman Sam Roberts of Syracuse and Barbara Lifton of Ithaca voted in favor of it.

The bill grants collective bargaining rights to farm laborers, requires employers of farm laborers to allow at least 24 hours of consecutive rest each week, provide for an eight-hour work day for farm laborers, requires overtime rate of one and a half times the normal rate and makes provisions of unemployment insurance law applicable to farm laborers.

Farmers were against the law and New York Farm Bureau spoke in their defense, stating:
An overwhelming majority of farm employees, who routinely return to the very same farms every year to make a good wage and receive fair treatment, are not the ones demanding changes to the law that will restrict their hours and limit new opportunities. This 25 plus year old bill ignores the fact that numerous state and federal regulations already exist that mandate fair labor, health and safety standards, farm worker agreements and employee protections, all of which New York Farm Bureau supports. Farmers have never asked to be exempted from basic laws which govern all New York employees, such as the payment of minimum wage requirements, whistleblower protections, anti-human trafficking statutes and workplace harassment.

Go to this link to read an opinion piece about the law.

1 comment:

  1. This link takes you to a new website that explains how dreadful this proposed legislation is as well as the questionable methods and motivations of the characters driving it: