Thank you Board Members McDuffie, Hughes and Fisher for the opportunity to testify today before the Farm Laborers Wage Board on the question of whether the overtime threshold for farm laborers in New York should be lowered from 60 hours.

My name is Paul Sonn and I am State Policy Program Director at the National Employment Law Project (NELP). NELP is national research and policy organization focused on workforce issues. We work at the federal, state and local levels on a wide range of employment policy issues, ranging from minimum wages and overtime pay, to unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, to access to jobs for  disadvantaged workers. NELP has submitted testimony to most of the New York State Department of Labor (DOL) Wage Boards that have been convened in recent years, including wage boards on fast food workers, and tipped workers.

NELP urges the wage board to follow California’s lead and establish a schedule for gradually phasing down the new 60 hour per week overtime threshold until it reaches 40 hours per week – the level above which virtually all other laborers in New York are entitled to time-and-a-half overtime pay.

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