Labor Dept. Publishes Final Rule on Temporary Employment of H-2A Workers in Herding or Production of Livestock on the Range
The Department of Labor (DOL) has published a final rule establishing standards and procedures for employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for jobs in herding and production of livestock on the range. Among the issues addressed are the qualifying criteria, preparing job orders, program obligations of employers, filing H-2A applications requesting temporary labor certification for range occupations, recruiting U.S. workers, determining the minimum offered wage rate, and meeting minimum standards for housing used on the range. The regulations establish a single set of standards and procedures applicable to employers seeking to hire foreign temporary agricultural workers for sheep and goat herding and range production of livestock.
Among other things, DOL noted the need to address “inadequate wage methodology” that has contributed to herder wage stagnation. Instead of using inaccurate, outdated surveys, DOL decided to use the federal minimum wage rate, currently $7.25 per hour, multiplied by 48 hours per week to set the monthly wage rate.