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    Breaking News: New Protections for Agricultural Workers Proposed

    agricultural workers
    • Published
    • 13 September 2023
    • Category

    The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed new rulesImproving Protections for Workers in Temporary Agricultural Employment in the United States, to amend regulations affecting workers in the federal H-2A visa program. The H-2A program was established to help employers who anticipate a lack of available domestic workers to bring foreign workers to the U.S. to perform temporary or seasonal agricultural work.

    The proposal includes provisions to:

    • Enhance the department’s ability to monitor compliance and take enforcement actions against program violators.
    • Protect workers regarding self-advocacy on working conditions and in cases of alleged employer retaliation.
    • Clarify when a termination is for cause, for example, when a worker fails to meet productivity expectations or violates a company policy.
    • Make foreign labor recruitment activities more transparent to address concerns regarding workers’ rights and trafficking.
    • Update new wage rates as soon as they are published in the Federal Register rather than weeks later.
    • Improve workers’ access to safe transportation, including use of seatbelts.

    The proposal builds on a final rule the department published in October 2022. There is a 60-day comment period.

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