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New York Farm Laborers Have Constitutional Right to Unionize (1)

May 23, 2019, 7:27 PMUpdated: May 23, 2019, 10:10 PM

Farm laborers have a fundamental right to organize and collectively bargain with their employers under the New York constitution, a state appeals court said May 23.

The state’s Bill of Rights protects the right to organize and collectively bargain for all employees, without any qualification or restriction, Justice Christine Clark said for the New York Appellate Division, Third Department. The part of the State Employment Relations Act that excluded such laborers from the definition of “employees” permitted to unionize is therefore unconstitutional, she said.

In addition to “the specific language of the constitutional provision and its deliberate placement within the...

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