Final Rule Eliminates Wasteful H-2A Print Ads
On September 20, the Department of Labor (DOL) published a new rule addressing a key concern raised for years by AmericanHort H-2A employers. For decades, DOL has required that agricultural employers looking to hire H-2A workers must run costly print newspaper ads in an effort to recruit interested U.S. applicants. The Department now acknowledges what growers have been telling them for years – these advertisements simply do not result in applications from potential U.S. workers. AmericanHort had raised this issue to the Administration as an area for streamlining and efficiency in the H-2A program.
In response to these concerns, the Department of Labor has agreed to remove the newspaper advertising requirement entirely. While they had originally proposed to require agricultural employers to post jobs online themselves, the industry submitted comments pointing out concerns with that proposal, and the final rule dropped that requirement as well. Instead, job openings will continue to be posted by the Department, itself, on their SeasonalJobs.dol.gov website. The final rule is available here.
During the recent Impact Washington Summit, we pressed Congress and Administration officials for further relief. We are hopeful that the spirit of modernization and flexibility evidenced in the advertising rule will continue in the Department’s rewrite of the overarching H-2A program rules and that the ongoing House legislative negotiations on agricultural workers will bear fruit in addressing many of our members’ concerns regarding access to a reliable agricultural workforce.