Jacobs introduces legislation to stop OT change for farms
Lowering OT threshold would be ‘death warrant for thousands of farms’
Press Release, Congressman Chris Jacobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Chris Jacobs (NY-27) introduced the Protect Local Farms Act (H.R. 8756) to prevent the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board’s recommendation to lower the overtime threshold from 60 hours to 40 hours per week from taking effect. Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21) is a co-sponsor of the legislation as well.
“Two days ago, the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board handed down their final recommendation to lower the overtime threshold for farm workers from 60 hours to 40 hours – this is a devastating decision made by out-of-touch bureaucrats which will bankrupt family farms throughout our state and end farming as we know it,” Jacobs said. “If Gov. Hochul approves this recommendation, she is signing the death warrant for thousands of farms.”
The Protect Local Farms Act (H.R. 8756) is designed to combat the New York State Farm Laborers Wage Board decision by mandating federally that the overtime threshold for the agriculture industry cannot be set lower than 60 hours per week – keeping New York’s current threshold in place.
“Farming is not like other industries,” Jacobs said. “It is not a normal work week, is subject to weather, and operates within very slim margins. None of these factors were properly considered before this recommendation was made. Our already small workforce will be further depleted as workers seek more hours in other states, and our farmers will face dire financial burdens.”
“The farmworker overtime threshold in New York makes it harder for our farms to make ends meet when we face higher labor costs than nearly every other state in the country,” said Patrick McCormick, dairy farmer and New York Farm Bureau State Director. “Rep. Jacobs common-sense legislation looks to put every farm on the same level playing field. A set minimum federal overtime threshold will eliminate the competitive edge one state has over another and benefit farmworkers at the same time.”