The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDOL) recently released a new set of frequently asked questions (FAQ) that address the 2019 Farm Laborer Fair Labor Practices Act (FLFLPA) and the recent changes to FLFLPA that were made in the New York budget process. Find the FAQ here: https://labor.ny.gov/immigrants/farm-laborers-fair-labor-practices-act/flflpa-frequently-asked-questions.pdf
Pay special attention to the set of questions under the heading “Coverage.” This section includes NYSDOL’s interpretation of who is a “farm laborer” and who is not. Be aware that being family doesn’t just require the common definition of the concept. As question 6 indicates, to be defined as family also requires a certain sense of obligation to the business and that pay is not based on hours or days of work. The law is in effect now but NYSDOL continues to be prevented from enforcing it with respect to family members and other exempt employee by the temporary restraining order issued by a federal judge in Buffalo. This situation will likely continue until the lawsuit is resolved.
Cornell Agricultural Workforce Development and other industry organizations are continuing to seek information and clarification from NYSDOL about important details and questions that the new laws raise.
By Richard Stup, Cornell University. Permission granted to repost, quote, and reprint with author attribution.
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