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New York Passed Farm Labor Law, Grants Workers’ Compensation to Agricultural Workers


On the morning of Wednesday, July 17th, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the Farmworkers’ Fair Labor Practices Act, passing the bill into law.

The passing of this act signals a major shift in the agricultural workers’ rights movement. For decades, farm laborers were excluded from the rights that have been a standard in other industries: Workers’ compensation, disability benefits, breaks, days off, overtime pay, unemployment, paid leave, and more. An absence of these rights is still the reality for farm workers in many states. It has long been the standard in the industry for employees to work long hours, every single day without the benefit of “time and a half” overtime wages many other American workers receive. Agricultural laborers would not receive checks if they suffered from an on-the-job injury, and did not have the option to take days off for recovery. The long-established denial of labor rights on a farm reflected laws most industries amended years and years ago.

But this will no longer be the plight of agricultural laborers in the state of New York once the Farmworkers’ Fair Labor Practices Act takes effect on January 1st, 2020. As reported by Business Insurance, the law “removes a payroll threshold for requiring farm labor employers to obtain workers compensation,” and “requires farm laborers to report any injuries to their employer.”

In addition to the new workers’ compensation rights, the law allows for benefits such as:

  • A 24-hour-per-week time off work minimum
  • A maximum 60-hour work week for laborers
  • Collective bargaining rights
  • Sanitation regulations for employee living spaces

The enforcement of the Farmworkers’ Fair Labor Practices Act will improve the lives of laborers across the state of New York. Now, among other initiatives, injured agricultural employees will be able to recover from an on-the-job injury with the help of workers’ compensation benefits.

Contact Belushin Law Firm, P.C. if you have a workers’ compensation claim. Schedule a free case evaluation via phone at (888) 918-9890 or through our contact form.

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