Farmworkers are the backbone of New York’s massive, multibillion-dollar agricultural industry. Yet, for decades a racist 80-year-old carve-out in state law meant that the 80,000 men and women who do the work of harvesting vegetables, picking fruit, and milking dairy cows are excluded from basic labor protections that nearly all other New Yorkers have. But in 2019, a law passed in New York’s State Legislature changed that. As of 2020, farmworkers have new labor rights, including the right to collectively bargain, the right to a day of rest, and to overtime pay.
Below is a detailed description of the labor rights farmworkers are now guaranteed under New York law.