A federal court judge this week issued a temporary restraining order delaying the implementation of aspects of a new labor law affecting farms in New York.
Judge Lawrence Vilardo in the Tuesday ruling blocked the state from enforcing provisions of the farmworkers labor law if such actions would have an effect on status, compensation, hours of supervisors, family members, shareholders and administrative employees.
The law, approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2019, provides for new labor benefits for agriculture workers, such as overtime and the ability to collectively bargain.
But farmers in New York, including smaller, independently operated businesses, worry the law will further erode the agriculture sector in the state.
The New York State Vegetable Growers Association and the Northeast Dairy Producers Association last month filed a lawsuit challenging the law.
“The ruling in favor of the TRO is an important first step for ensuring the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practice Act is implemented fairly for all who work on farms in New York,” said Brian Reeves, the president of the vegetable growers’ group and a farmer in Onondaga County.
“We want to protect the rights of all who work on our farms and are so important to our success. We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature to correct the statute to better address the rights of all who work on our farms.”