Document Type

Article

Publication Date

8-1-2021

Abstract

This report advocates for the Massachusetts Legislature to pass the Fairness for Farmworkers Act (FFA) to end the second-class treatment of farmworkers under the state's current wage and hour law. The bill has three essential parts:

First, the FFA repeals the $8.00 substandard minimum wage for agricultural and farm work. All farmworkers will be paid the state minimum wage.

Second, the FFA provides overtime pay for all farmworkers. Seasonal farmworkers will receive one and a half times their normal rate of pay for work performed in excess of fifty-five (55) hours in a week. Year-round farmworkers, like other hourly employees, will receive time and a half for all hours worked in excess of forty (40).

Third, the FFA establishes the right to a day of rest each week for seasonal farmworkers and provides overtime pay at time and a half for workers who elect to work on that day of rest.

The report argues that The Fairness for Farmworkers Act makes the farmworkers’ minimum wage the same as all other essential workers in the food supply chain – e.g., meat packers, food processors and grocery store workers. It recognizes the dignity, diligence, skill and hard work of these essential workers.

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