Farmers pleased with delay on overtime threshold

WWNY Farmers pleased with delay on overtime threshold

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Local farmers won’t have to pay more money for overtime for at least another year.

The state’s Farm Labor Wage Board delayed a decision that would lower the 60-hour farm overtime threshold to 40.

The board says the decision was made to avoid unintended consequences that could negatively impact New York’s farmworkers, family farms, and access to local food.

Devon Shelmidine, a local dairy farmer and president of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau, says the decision to delay was the right one.

“It would be a very large challenge for farmers to...pay these employees that want to work 70, 80 hours a week because that’s what they know, that’s what they want to do. There was already pushback from the employees when we chose to cut them back for the 60-hour threshold. If the threshold goes lower, the employees are going to be unhappy,” he said.

The 60-hour threshold will be in place for the rest of the year and will be re-evaluated at the end of 2021.

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