Assemblywoman Buttenschon Advocates for New York Farmers at Wage Board Meeting

Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenschon (D-Utica/Rome) attended the Farm Laborers Wage Board hearing earlier today to discuss overtime compensation for farmers across New York State.

“While we must ensure all workers are paid a fair wage, the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act has already had a detrimental impact on the state’s agricultural industry, and it’s critical that government doesn’t further hamstring our hardworking farmers,” said Buttenschon. “We must first study how this law impacts the industry before we make any additional and more costly changes. During these incredibly challenging times, I’ll continue working to ensure New York farmers have the support and resources they need to make ends meet!”

Under the 2019 Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, farm workers are now eligible for overtime premium pay and a day of rest if they work more than 60 hours a week. The law also requires the state Commissioner of Labor to convene wage board meetings and make recommendations regarding overtime work, specifically on whether the 60-hour threshold should be lowered and if such lowering should be implemented in phases. In the short time the 2019 law has been in effect, some large farms are turning to further automation to avoid paying higher labor costs and many other farms are having trouble attracting H-2A workers, Buttenschon noted.

Buttenschon has been committed to helping farmers in any way that she can during the COVID-19 pandemic. She created a Resource Directory for Farmers – which can be found at – to provide agricultural workers with information on federal and state assistance, available grants and financial planning.