New York Opens the Gate for Farm Worker Organizing

On June 19, 2019, the New York State Legislature passed the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act (“Act”), an amendment to the New York State Labor Law, which will have broad and significant implications for farms throughout New York State.

Under the Act, farm laborers are now considered “employees” under the New York State Employment Relations Act (SERA). “Farm laborer” is defined as “any individual engaged or permitted by an employer to work on a farm, except the parent, spouse, child, or other member of the employer’s immediately family.” SERA provides “employees” the statutory right to organize and collectively bargain, establishes an administrative framework to protect those rights, regulates the collective bargaining process, and provides a forum to resolve labor disputes.’

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