H-2A Employer Obligations
The H-2A regulations contain special requirements for employers who use the program, such as their obligation to provide all of the following:
- Free housing for H-2A and U.S. workers who are unable to return to their residences the same day. This housing must meet a full set of DOL standards and must be inspected and approved by the State Workforce Agency prior to certification.
- Free cooking facilities to the workers so that they may prepare their own meals OR provide three meals per day and be reimbursed by the workers for the cost up to the federally specified daily limits.
- Worker’s Compensation Insurance coverage.
- Reimbursement of travel costs and subsistence to workers recruited from out of the local area. Return transportation and subsistence costs are also required after 50% of the contract has been fulfilled.
- A guarantee to offer 3/4 of the hours in the overall contract period (unless there is just cause for dismissal).
- A guarantee to pay wages that are higher of either the AWER (Adverse Wage Effect Rate), the prevailing wage rate or the federal or state minimum wage (unless the positions fall into “Special Procedures” such as Sheepherders and Open Range Livestock Workers).
- All tools and equipment that the worker needs to perform the duties assigned.
- Transportation to stores for food/shopping at least every two weeks.
- Employment to any qualified U.S. worker who applies for the job through 50% of the contract period.