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NY legislators renew push for farmworker labor rights

The Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act isn’t a new bill, but with Democrats controlling both houses of the state Legislature there’s a greater likelihood it will become law this year.

The legislation would grant farmworkers with employment rights available to workers in other industries, such as collective bargaining and the ability to unionize. The measure would establish an eight-hour workday for farmworkers, require farms to pay overtime and laborers would receive at least one day off each week.

Other major reforms are in the bill, including making farm employees eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos, one of the bill’s sponsors, described farm laborers’ exclusion from protections available to other workers as a “remnant of the Jim Crow era.”

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