Employment: H-2A Changes for Agricultural Employees

04.01.10

The H-2A nonimmigrant worker visa allows U.S. agricultural employers to employ foreign workers to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural labor services. Before the Department of Homeland Security approves an H-2A visa, the employer must file an application with the Department of Labor stating that there are not sufficient U.S. workers available and qualified to perform the labor and that the employment of the foreign worker will not adversely effect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. In 2008, the Department of Labor made several changes to the H-2A regulations. Over the past several months, the Department of Labor has reviewed the H-2A regulations, especially in regard to worker protections provided by the regulations. The Department of Labor issued new regulations which became effective on March 15, 2010. According to the Department of Labor, the revised regulations provide for increased wages for work ers and greater access to the domestic labor market. One of the changes in the regulations is the revival of a previous requirement that non-H2-A employees who perform the same work as an H-2A employee for the same employer must be compensated for that work at least as much as the H-2A employee receives for the same work.

Employers of H-2A workers must display a new H-2A poster which is available in both English and Spanish. The posters are available here.

By Hilary L. Velandia, hvelandia@dsda.com

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Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca D. Bullard

Rebecca represents clients primarily in labor and employment litigation and counsels clients regarding everyday employment matters. 

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