Statement from Senator Borrello on Labor Wage Board Decision to Lower 60-Hour Overtime Threshold for Farm Workers

“The Farm Laborers Wage Board and the Democrat One-Party-Rule which empowered them have dealt a potentially fatal blow to the livelihoods of New York State’s hard working farm families with the devastating decision to recommend lowering the farm worker overtime threshold to 40 hours per week. This move will spell the beginning of the end for many farms in this once-vibrant industry and force others to scale down production, increase automation or relocate.  

“This decision is also a blow to the farm workers, who activists claim will be the ‘beneficiaries’ of this change. These workers have been outspoken over the past several months about their opposition to a lower threshold and the smaller paychecks that would result. Our state already lost many of these workers when the 60-hour threshold was imposed, in favor of Ohio, Pennsylvania and other agriculture-friendly states. That exodus will now become a stampede, thanks to this capitulation to radical activists.   

“It is tragic that New York’s farmers and agricultural industry have been sacrificed for political expediency. This fall, data from an independent report by Cornell and presented to the Department of Agriculture and Markets made it clear that lowering the threshold will benefit no one and will force both farmers and farm workers to seek their livelihoods in other states or occupations. Yet, as we’ve seen countless times in the past three years, facts and common-sense carry little weight under Democrat One-Party Rule.  

“To the individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly in partnership with us over the past year to educate decision makers on the realities of the industry and the catastrophic impact of lowering the threshold, thank you for your dedication. Despite this setback, we must continue our fight to sustain the future of farming in New York State.”