New Report Shares Findings from Largest Survey of New York State Migrant, Seasonal, and Year-Round Farmworkers
WHAT: The New York Farmworker: Hours, Wages & Injuries shares important new data on the wages and working conditions of 530 farmworkers on more than 100 farms in New York. The largest survey of the state’s migrant, seasonal, and year-round agricultural workers reveals:
- 19% of respondents reported a workplace injury that resulted in lost work time, with half of those respondents indicating they received no compensation.
- 25% of respondents reported wage theft, noting that they did not receive their overtime wages. Starting in 2020, New York farms were required to pay overtime after 60 hours a week–prior to that, farmworkers did not have a right to overtime pay.
- The average hourly wage for farmworkers is $15.55.
- Julie Sorensen, Director, The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health,
- Diana Caba, VP for Community and Economic Development, Hispanic Federation,
- Trent Taylor, Staff Attorney, Farmworker Justice, and the report’s authors.
WHY: In 2019, New York State passed the Farmworkers Fair Labor Practices Act (FLPA) giving farmworkers overtime pay after 60 hours and collective bargaining protections, among other rights. In 2024, the agricultural overtime threshold will be lowered by four hours every two years.
This report evaluates the implementation of the current overtime requirement and makes recommendations for better protecting farmworkers’ rights. In addition, the report details workers’ wages and offers insight, in the farmworkers’ own words, about their on-the-job injuries and other work conditions. As one respondent stated, “I feel underappreciated because I’ve worked here 16 years and only make $15 after all that time.” Another worker expressed: “I feel like the bosses pit us, the workers, against each other. They also blame us if we have to put in more hours, and sometimes they take away our hours.”
REPORT CITATION: Gray, Margaret, Nina Donaldson, and Kelly Miller. The New York Farmworker: Hours, Wages & Injuries. Amherst: UMass Amherst Labor Center, 2023.
The Executive Summary will be available in Spanish.
- Margaret Gray, PhD, is an associate professor of Political Science, Adelphi University;
- Kelly Miller has an MS in Labor Studies from UMASS Amherst Labor Center
- Nina Donaldson is a candidate for the MS in Labor Studies, UMASS Amherst Labor Studies.
CONTACT: For interviews/additional information, contact Margaret Gray, 516-877-4589, firstname.lastname@example.org