Fairness for Farmworkers Act

Fairness for Farmworkers Coalition

2021-2022 Legislative Session

House 1979 sponsored by Representative Carlos Gonzalez

Senate 1205 sponsored by Senator Adam Gomez


This legislation would reform Massachusetts wage and hour law to allow all Massachusetts farmworkers:

To earn the same minimum wage as other workers in the state. Under current law, agricultural employers can pay farmworkers a poverty-level subminimum wage of $8 per hour. 

To earn overtime pay after 55 hours of work in a week. Under current law, agricultural employers are not required to pay any overtime. 

To take one day of rest each week. Under current law, agricultural employers are not required to afford farmworkers any days of rest.

Links to bills:

House 1979: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/H1979

Senate 1205: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/192/S1205

Links to media coverage:

Hampshire Gazette, 9/10/2021: https://www.gazettenet.com/Columnist-Bill-Newman-42410573

Hampshire Gazette, 11/4/2021: https://www.gazettenet.com/Hatfield-farmworkers-seek-fairness-43374171

New England Public Media, 11/9/2021: https://www.gazettenet.com/Hatfield-farmworkers-seek-fairness-43374171

WWLP, 11/9/2021: https://www.wwlp.com/news/state-politics/ma-lawmakers-calling-for-wage-increase-paid-sick-time-for-farmers/


Legislation fact sheet, bill text and section-by-section summary

Research white paper: THE FRUITS OF THE PAST: The Unfair Consequences of Excluding Massachusetts Farmworkers from State Labor Law Protections and How the Fairness for Farmworkers Act Will Remedy That Injustice

Press Release, August 30, 2021: Fairness for Farmworkers Coalition Announces Campaign to Pass New Farmworker Rights Legislation in Massachusetts

Testimony in support at Labor and Workforce Development Committee hearing, 11/9/2021:

  • Central West Justice Center
  • National Employment Law Project
  • MassCOSH (Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health)
  • Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
  • American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
Attachment Size
FactSheet.pdf (270.51 KB) 270.51 KB
ResearchPaper.pdf (3.79 MB) 3.79 MB
08302021PressRelease_0.pdf (170.97 KB) 170.97 KB
CentralWestJusticeTestimony.pdf (194.38 KB) 194.38 KB
NELPTestimony.pdf (217.79 KB) 217.79 KB
MassCOSHTestimony.pdf (143.72 KB) 143.72 KB
MLRITestimony.pdf (199.74 KB) 199.74 KB
ACLUTestimony.pdf (1.05 MB) 1.05 MB