Assemblyman John Lemondes (R,C,I-Lafayette) today joined his fellow Assembly Minority colleagues, the New York State Farm Bureau, and farm owners to share their concerns about lowering the overtime threshold for employed farm laborers. Previously held at 60 hours, the threshold was recently recommended by an Albany bureaucratic group to be reduced to 40 hours before overtime was allotted to all overtime workers. As someone who owns and operates an active farm in today’s climate, Lemondes was keen to share the downside of this issue.
“The American farm has long been underappreciated, and moves like this place additional unfair burdens on those who operate our farms,” Lemondes said. “Farming demands a lot of time and energy, often during unconventional hours, to make it work. It’s part of the reason why my colleagues and I agree that it can’t be treated like any other labor sector in the country.”
Lemondes further emphasized that farming provides more to those who commit to it than those looking for a temporary job. “It’s the lifeblood of the world, to provide food and goods across the globe. It’s not an easy job, and in this state in particular, it’s undervalued. To ask farm owners and operators to sacrifice so much when they see so little in return puts the agricultural community at dire risk,” Lemondes concluded.