Hawley: Lowering OT threshold puts multi-generational farms at risk
‘I sincerely hope that Governor Hochul will be able to put aside her partisanship and stop this policy’s implementation for the sake of our farmers, families, and rural economies throughout the state.’ – Steve Hawley
Press Release, Assemblyman Steve Hawley
Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia), a former farmer and member of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture, is expressing grave concern following a 2-1 decision by the Farm Laborers Wage Board to implement a 40-hour overtime threshold for farm laborers in New York state.
Hawley has joined farmers and advocates from across the state throughout the last several months to speak out against this proposal, arguing that since farms operate on schedules that are at the mercy of the weather and other unpredictable factors, that lowering the threshold would prove fatal for farms which barely turn a profit when paying their laborers under the existing 60-hour threshold.
“Farm operators and farm laborers alike have been more united than ever in opposing this mandate, but sadly it seems their voices were ignored, and I now fear the decision will come at the cost of countless multi-generational family businesses who will now have no choice but to cease operations,” Hawley said. “Being someone with origins in upstate New York, I sincerely hope that Governor Hochul will be able to put aside her partisanship and stop this policy’s implementation for the sake of our farmers, families, and rural economies throughout the state.
“For the millions of people who love everything about agriculture as we know it here in upstate New York, it would be truly tragic if our local farms became nothing more than memories of a better time.”