State Budget Local Government

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks during a news conference in the Red Room at the state Capitol Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, in Albany, N.Y. (AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation giving farm workers collective bargaining rights, overtime pay and other labor protections afforded in non-farm industries.

The Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act eliminates a provision in New York state law that prohibits agricultural workers from unionizing. It also extends worker compensation benefits to all types of farms, guarantees workers at least one day off a week and requires overtime pay for more than 60 hours a week.

Democrat Cuomo says Wednesday the law is "a milestone in the crusade for social justice." It takes effect Jan. 1.

Farm owners told lawmakers the act would force them to cut back on employment and that a workers' strike at a busy time of year would be devastating.