Lawsuit Aims To Halt Implementation Of New York State Farm Labor Law - Producer Groups ‘Seek Clearer Idea Of Who's A Farm Laborer'
(BUFFALO, NEW YORK) - Two farm associations are suing New York State for clarification of a new Farm Labor Law that takes effect today (Wednesday, January 8th).
The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which was signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo this past July, grants Agricultural Employees one day of rest per week and overtime pay after 60 hours on the job.
The Northeast Dairy Producers Association and the New York State Vegetable Growers Association filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Buffalo seeking a court order to temporarily halt implementation of the law, for what they argue is needed clarity to ensure farm operators are in compliance with the law's requirements.
U.S. District Judge Lawrence J. Vilardo heard arguments and reserved judgment.
Supporters of the law argue Farm Workers have unfairly been treated differently and the law changes that.
"After a decades-long fight, the lives of tens of thousands of hard-working men and women who perform demanding and dangerous work on farms all across this state will improve. Farmworkers are finally getting basic Labor Rights, including the right to organize a Union, a mandatory day of rest, and the right to overtime pay," Mario Cilento, the President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said in a statement issued by Cuomo's office.
The suit takes aim at the law's definition of "Farm Laborer," which covers supervisors, farm owners and family members of farm owners.
The organizations claims this places farms in a contradictory or "Catch 22 position" because supervisors, owners and family members are agents of the farm business and must not engage in conduct that would discourage or encourage Unions.
In addition the associations argue that the law conflicts with Section 14(a) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), by including supervisors as part of the group of Farm Laborers who can engage in collective bargaining.
NLRA prohibits states from adopting such legislation, the associations asserted.
To Read This Labor News Report In Its Entirety, Go To: www.lockportjournal.com/news/local_news/lawsuit-aims-to-halt-implementation-of-ny-farm-labor-law/article_d90ba5dc-0b7a-59ed-8ebd-8bf5ce2e6e14.html