Increasing additional time for farmworkers to kick in at 40 hours every week might assist broaden the labor pool of agriculture staff in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday mentioned.
The pending determination to decrease the additional time threshold from 60 hours every week to 40 is just not anticipated to be made for a number of weeks by state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. However Hochul on Wednesday in a information convention mentioned there could be advantages in doing so.
“If somebody is now going to be paid for his or her additional time hours, why would they not wish to come to New York state to work and obtain a a lot larger compensation than they’d in these different states?” Hochul mentioned. “This provides a dramatic benefit in our efforts to convey farm staff to New York state. They’re nonetheless going to work a protracted day, that is how the season works. However they are going to be paid for each penny that they are not used to in different states.”
A board on the state Division of Labor earlier this month superior the proposal, which might additionally embody a subsidy meant to offset the price of the decrease additional time for farmers.
Advocates have argued the change will lastly embody agriculture staff who had been excluded from federal labor protections for almost a century. However opponents, together with farmers and Republican lawmakers, have mentioned the additional time change doesn’t replicate the realities of engaged on a farm and the monetary struggles producers are going through.
State and federal agriculture officials on Tuesday sidestepped the query of the additional time threshold change. However U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, talking in Saratoga Springs, mentioned he’s pushing for adjustments to the federal short-term employee program with the intention to develop the labor pool.
Hochul on Wednesday added she needs the state’s agriculture business to be sturdy with the intention to assist with provide chain resiliency, framing it as a nationwide safety concern. However in a good labor market, paying staff extra money may very well be a boon, she mentioned.
“They’re going to be compensated, however that additional value can be absorbed by the state of New York,” she mentioned.