Labor Department Announces H-2A Ag Worker Changes

Proposed changes to the H-2B and H-2A temporary worker visa programs aimed at modernizing and streamlining the recruitment process were announced by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) November 8.

The H-2A program allows employers to higher foreign workers on a temporary basis to fill positions for agricultural work they are unable to secure domestic labor to do. The H-2B program does the same but for non-agricultural work.

The H-2A program is used extensively for more labor intensive seasonal agricultural work like picking fruits and vegetables. Often it proves impossible for producers to find Americans workers to fill the needed positions.

MWFPA has been supportive of making changes to the current agricultural guest worker program which is expensive, flawed, and plagued with red tape.

Current rules require employers to first advertise any job they are seeking temporary labor certifications for by publishing two print ads in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment.  Under the proposed rule employers seeking temporary labor certifications through the H-2A visa program would be required to post job advertisements online for at least 14 days.

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