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Arianna Fishman,, 212-607-3372

September 6, 2022

Governor and Dept. of Labor have 45 days to overturn legacy of racial exclusion

NEW YORK – Today, the Farm Laborer Wage Board officially recommended that state Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon decrease the state’s farmworker overtime threshold to 40 hours over the course of the next ten years, beginning January 1, 2024. Farmworkers are one of the only hourly workers in New York state that are denied overtime at 40 hours. The Department of Labor has 45 days to accept, reject, or modify the recommendation.

In response, the New York Civil Liberties Union issued the following statement from senior attorney for legislative affairs Lisa Zucker:

“Farmworkers have waited over 80 years for an end to the racist exclusion that has stolen countless hours of overtime pay. Governor Hochul and Commissioner Reardon must prevent another generation of workers from suffering by unequivocally accepting the Wage Board’s recommendation. With Governor Hochul’s more than dollar-for-dollar refundable tax credit, there is no reason that the overtime threshold cannot be immediately lowered to 40 hours, eradicating this racist Jim Crow policy once and for all.”

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