Arkansas Global Connect
What is an H-2B VISA?
A legal non-immigrant foreign labor program for seasonal/peakload non-agricultural workers when sufficient U.S. workers are not available. Foreign workers who qualify for and comply with the terms of an H-2B visa can return to the same employer year after year.
What Are the Employer’s Responsibilities?
Who Can Participate in the H-2B program?
Food and Seafood Processors
Foresters (Tree Planting)
Lawn Maintenance Firms
Seasonal Goods Retailers & Manufacturers
Seasonal Tourist Destinations
- The H-2B employer must pay its H-2B workers and workers in corresponding employment at least the wage rate specified in the job order. That wage rate must be at least the highest of the prevailing wage rate obtained from the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) or the applicable Federal, State, or local minimum wage.
- An employer may use commissions, bonuses, or other incentives. However, in any workweek where the employee does not earn the equivalent of the offered wage, the employer must supplement the employee’s pay so it equals what he or she would have earned had the pay been computed based on the offered hourly wage.
- An employer paying on a piece-rate basis must pay a piece rate that is no less than the normal rate paid by non-H-2B employers for workers performing the same activity in the area of intended employment. The average hourly piece rate earnings must result in an amount at least equal to the offered wage. If the worker is paid on a piece rate basis and at the end of the workweek the piece rate earnings are less than the amount the worker would have earned had the worker been paid at the offered hourly rate, then the employer must supplement the worker’s weekly earnings at that time so they at least equal the amount the employee would have earned at the offered hourly wage rate for each hour worked.
- An employer may require productivity standards, but if the employer requires one or more minimum productivity standards of workers as a condition of job retention, the standards must be specified in the job order and must be normal and usual for non-H-2B employers for the same occupation in the area of intended employment. The use of productivity standards cannot result in workers being paid less than the offered wage.
- H-2B employers must pay at least every two weeks or according to the prevailing practice for that occupation in the area of employment, whichever is more frequent. The employer must state in the job order the frequency with which the worker will be paid. Employers must pay all wages when due.
- Federal wage statutes, such as the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, apply to these workers in the same manner as they apply to other U.S. workers.
- The employer must make all deductions from the worker’s paycheck required by law. The job order must specify all deductions not required by law which the employer will make from the worker’s pay. Deductions not disclosed are prohibited.
- In all recruitment activities (such as the newspaper advertisements, job order, any offers to former U.S. workers, etc.), the employer must offer at least the highest of the prevailing wage rate or the applicable Federal, State, or local minimum wage. The employer must offer at least the wage that it intends to pay its H-2B workers. For instance, if the employer plans on paying by the piece, providing per diems or any other wage supplements, paying a premium for experience, etc., then the employer must accurately disclose those plans so that U.S. workers can make an informed decision about their interest in the job opportunity.
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