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Washington Labor & Employment Wire » DOL Publishes Final Rule for H-2A Program

DOL Publishes Final Rule for H-2A Program

On February 12, 2010, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a new rule regarding the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program. This rule will strengthen worker protections for both U.S. and foreign workers and ensure the integrity of the H-2A program. Major features of the rule include: 

  • Requires documentation from employers showing compliance with the prerequisites for bringing H-2A workers into the country. Employers can no longer simply attest compliance.
  • Returns to the USDA Farm Labor Survey, instead of the Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, as the basis for the determining the Adverse Effect Wage Rate;
  • Reinstates the requirement that State Workforce Agencies inspect and approve employer-provided housing before the Department issue H-2A labor certification;
  • Creates a national electronic job registry for all H-2A job orders to improve US worker access to agricultural jobs;
  • Requires employers to provide workers with copies of the job orders before departure and to display a poster describing employee rights in a language common to the workers at the work site;
  • Prohibits the use of multi-area itineraries by H-2A labor contractors

            The rule will become effective March 15, 2010.