WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration and its Wage and Hour Division announced a final rule to improve the H-2B program. The rule, to be published in the Feb. 21 edition of the Federal Register, includes changes to several aspects of the program that offers U.S. workers greater access to jobs and strengthens worker protections.
The department responded to comments received from employers and worker advocates in drafting the final rule, providing employers with flexibility and certainty throughout the application and recruitment processes as well as improving U.S. workers' access to jobs. The final rule creates a national registry for all H-2B job postings and increases the amount of time during which U.S. workers must be recruited. The rule also requires the rehiring of former employees when available.
In addition, H-2B program benefits such as transportation costs and wages will be extended to U.S. workers performing substantially the same work as H-2B workers. Worker protections also will be strengthened by enhanced transparency throughout the employment process.
"The H-2B program is designed to help businesses when there is a temporary shortage of U.S. workers," said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. "The rule announced today will ensure that the program is used as intended by making these jobs more accessible to U.S. workers and providing stronger protections for every worker."
The rule goes into effect April 23. Click here to view the final rule.