Requirements and Regulations for the Employment of H-2A Workers
(1) Regardless if the employer has been issued with an H-2A certification by the OFLC, as US employers, they are still required to seek out the services of domestic US workers first and foremost before recruiting and bringing in migrant workers during any given season.
(2) Employers of migrant workers are required to post the Employee Rights poster of the US DOL / Wage and Hours Division. The posters should be conspicuously displayed in the work place where they can be readily read by the employees; in addition, they should also be available in a Spanish version.
(3) The qualified employer and his agents hiring under this program are prohibited from receiving recruitment fees as a condition for hiring a migrant worker.
(4) Employers who have been qualified to hire migrant workers are not allowed to lay off any currently employed US domestic worker within 60 days after hiring an H-2A.
(5) During every payday, the H-2A employees will be furnished with a complete statement detailing the following:
- The number of hours worked, including information about the number of hours offered to them and the number of hours which the H-2As refused.
- The pay rate for each type of crop and the base unit for each rate; i.e. per hour, per piece, per task, etc.
- The total amount earned for the period.
- The details and explanations of any deductions made against the H-2A employee’s wages for a particular period.
(6) Termination of H-2A workers should be properly documented, which includes the reason for the termination.
(7) In cases where H-2A workers are terminated, the employer hiring under this program should notify the NPC, particularly those terminations that involve abandonment or abscondment. In addition, the notification should also indicate if the agricultural employer will be seeking a replacement.
(8) Workers under the H-2A hiring program are not covered by the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
(9) Other related US labor and employment laws will apply to both H-2A workers and employers, which may include unemployment insurance, Fair Labor Standards Act, and the Family and Medical Leave Act as well as other applicable state and local statutes and edicts.
(10) Readers are encouraged to view the downloadable copy of the H-2A Employee Rights poster available at Bright Hub's Media Gallery. The said poster contains a complete list of rights and privileges extended not only to those classified as H-2A for agriculture, but for all other types of employment as H-2A workers.