Fairness for Farmworkers Act
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-i...
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