State Legislature Passes Historic Farmworker Rights Legislation

Affiliate: ACLU of New York
June 20, 2019 9:30 am

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ALBANY – The New York Legislature today passed the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act today, legislation that grants farmworkers fundamental workplace protections, including the right to collective bargaining. The legislation comes after years of organizing and lobbying by farmworkers and allies from across the state, as well as a May appellate court ruling that farmworkers have a state constitutional right to organize. The case was brought by Crispin Hernandez, Workers’ Center of Central New York, and the Worker Justice Center of New York, with representation by the NYCLU.

In addition to the right to collective bargaining, the legislation passed today guarantees a day of rest, overtime pay, and more. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

The following statement is attributable to NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman:

“It is fitting that today, on Juneteenth, legislators are finally delivering a measure of justice to farmworkers more than 80 years after a Jim Crow-era law denied them basic rights granted to everyone else. The workers on whom we depend for the food on our tables must be treated humanely and with dignity, like any other hardworking New Yorker. That includes the right to organize, a day of rest, overtime pay, and more. Farmworkers have had to wait decades, and they shouldn’t have to wait a day longer for the governor to sign this historic reform.”

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