H-2A Farmworker Recruitment Moved Online

 

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer September 24, 2019
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​Employers seeking to hire migrant farmworkers under the H-2A visa program will soon no longer have to run print ads in newspapers to recruit for open positions.

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule announcing it will move the recruitment process online effective October 21.

The H-2A visa program allows U.S. employers to hire foreign nationals for temporary or seasonal agricultural work. Employers must get approval from the DOL before they petition for the visas, showing attempts to first recruit U.S. workers for the jobs.

We've rounded up articles and resources from SHRM Online on the news.

Modernizing Recruitment for H-2A Workers

The rule states that in addition to rescinding the requirement that job ads be placed in newspapers, the DOL will post online advertisements on employers' behalf via SeasonalJobs.dol.gov, giving interested U.S. workers a better chance to find the jobs and apply. The DOL will also work with state workforce agencies to help decide where to run the online ads through third-party sites to maximize outreach.

(Department of Labor)

Farm Employers Support the Change

The job advertisement requirement is meant to ensure that employers first seek to recruit interested U.S. workers before sponsoring a foreign guest worker. But the Pew Research Center has pointed out that 79 percent of job seekers research jobs online while only 32 percent use print classifieds, making the newspaper requirements ineffective.

The DOL has proposed similar changes for the H-2B visa program, which allows employers to hire guest workers for temporary nonagricultural labor.

(SHRM Online)

More H-2A Visa Reforms on Deck

Separately, the DOL proposed new regulations in July that would change the way the department reviews employers' labor certification applications for the H-2A visa program, including requiring electronic filing, updating wage rates and providing hiring flexibility.

(SHRM Online)

Competing Proposals to Address Foreign Farm Labor Program

Republicans have continually pushed for a replacement of the H-2A temporary visa program, while Democrats seek legal status for the mostly undocumented farmworkers as a starting point of any overhaul.

(SHRM Online)

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