The new Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which took effect on January 1, 2020, requires employers to provide disability benefits and paid family leave coverage to farm workers. The only farm workers automatically exempt are a farm employer’s own minor children, or full-time students in secondary school.
Who's Considered a Farm Worker?
The New York State Department of Labor defines a farm worker as:
Employees that perform duties in connection with the operation, management, conservation, improvement, or maintenance of a farm and its tools and equipment. Farm-specific duties include, but are not limited to, cultivating the soil; raising or harvesting any agricultural or horticultural commodity, including the raising, shearing, feeding, caring for, training, and management of livestock, bees, poultry, and fur-bearing animals, and wildlife; and handling, planting, drying, packing, packaging, processing, freezing, grading, storing, or delivering to storage or to market or to a carrier for transportation to market, any agricultural or horticultural commodity.
Complying with the New Farm Law
If you currently employ farm workers, as defined above, NYSIF is here to help you comply with the new law. Please see our Farm Bill Coverage Form to update your policy.