Statement on Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act


Statement on Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act

June 19, 2019
woman harvesting carrots in a field

Following is a statement of Richard E. Barnes, executive director of the New York State Catholic Conference, on the passage of the Farmworker Fair Labor Practices Act:

“The Bishops of New York State are grateful and relieved that after more than two decades of advocacy, the legislature has passed a version of the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act. For too long, farmworkers have been treated unjustly under the labor laws which protect workers in every other area and industry.

“At long last, our state is saying farmworkers are equal in human dignity to the rest of society. The new legislation establishes worker protections, including collective bargaining rights and a 24-hour day of rest every calendar week. It makes the provision of unemployment insurance law applicable to farm laborers, and provides them with eligibility for workers compensation benefits, as well as applying the sanitary code to migrant housing. And while the bill contains some new overtime provisions, it also establishes a pathway to continued progress on this issue going forward.

“For the Bishops, this has always been a matter of justice. Farmworkers never sought special treatment; they only sought equal treatment. This legislation, while not perfect, makes remarkable progress and represents a consensus among the farmworkers and the farmers, on whom we all depend.”

The Catholic Conference represents the NYS Bishops in public policy matters.

Mensaje sobre la aprobación de la Ley de Trabajadores Agrícolas

A continuación, una declaración de Richard E. Barnes, director ejecutivo de la Conferencia Católica del Estado de Nueva York, sobre la aprobación de la Ley de Prácticas Laborales Justas para Trabajadores Agrícolas:

“Los obispos