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NY Appeals Panel Puts Farm Worker Union Ban To Pasture

Law360 (May 23, 2019, 8:19 PM EDT) -- A split New York state appeals panel extended labor organizing rights to farm workers on Thursday, saying their exclusion from the 1937 state law empowering workers to form unions violates the state constitution.

The 4-1 Third Judicial Department majority said a 1938 constitutional amendment guaranteeing “employees” the right to organize without excluding farm workers leads to the “inescapable conclusion” that the 1937 law violates the New York Constitution, overturning the New York Farm Bureau’s trial win.

“The choice to use the broad and expansive word ‘employees’ … without qualification or restriction, was a deliberate one that was meant to afford the...

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