Tague Blasts DOL Final Decision on Farm Overtime

Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie) blasted the New York State Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) final decision to cap farm overtime to 40 hours by 2032. The reduction in farm work weeks will begin on January 1, 2024, and be reduced by four hours every year until fully phased in.

An ardent agriculture advocate, Tague released the following statement in response to the state Department of Labor’s (NYSDOL) decision, announced today:

“Since this proposal was first announced, I have been working with farmers and farm workers across our state to be their advocate and magnify their voice so bureaucrats would listen and change course. These are the types of job-killing and economy-busting policies that New Yorkers don’t need and can’t comprehend. People don’t want Albany to interfere with things that aren’t broken and don’t need fixing, especially when our state has much bigger problems. This policy is going to greatly hurt our agriculture industry, force many farms to close, compromise the integrity of our landscape and environment and of course many of the jobs it aims to protect will be lost to other states that are more competitive.

“I am deeply disappointed that Commissioner Reardon did not listen to common sense, or most importantly, the farmers and farm workers impacted and reject this downstate-driven policy that has no place in our farms. Farming is not a 9 to 5 job. Anyone knows that, except it seems the people trying unnecessarily to control this industry – and to everyone’s detriment. It is unfortunate that farming used to be the pride of New York but with policies like this it will soon be not much more than a memory. And all New Yorkers will suffer the consequences of losing access to fresh, affordable, locally-grown or produced food. No farms, no food.”