There are two general requirements to obtain workers on H-2A visas. First,
the employer must demonstrate that there are not sufficient able, willing
and qualified US workers available at the time and place needed. Second, the
employer must show the use of foreign workers will not create an adverse
effect on the wages or working conditions of similarly employed US workers.
Farmworkers generally receive either an hourly wage or are paid by the
piece. However, under the H-2A program H-2A workers must be offered the same
wage as US workers. This has been interpreted to mean the higher of the
· The industry's prevailing wage in the relevant labor market,
· The state or federal minimum wage, or
· The "adverse effect wage rate"
The adverse effect wage rate, or AEWR, is currently set at the prior year's
average hourly wage for agricultural and livestock workers determined by the
Department of Agriculture. For workers who are paid by the piece, if their
wages are not equal to the AEWR, the employer must make up the difference.
On or before each day when the H-2A worker is paid, the employer must
provide the worker with an earnings statement detailing the alien's total
earnings, whether the alien is paid hourly or by the piece, the hours of
work offered, and the hours actually worked.
Employers are required to provide H-2A workers with a number of benefits.
· The employee must be provided with transportation to and from the worker's
temporary home to the workplace.
· When the contract period is up, the employer must provide the worker with
transportation home or to their next workplace.
· Employers must provide housing to all H-2A workers who do not commute. The
housing must be inspected by the Department of Labor and must meet minimum
federal standards for temporary labor camps.
· The employer must either provide three meals a day or facilities in which
the worker can prepare food.
· The employer must also provide any tools and supplies necessary to perform
· The employer must also provide workers' compensation insurance to H-2A
NOW YOU KNOW WHY "FARMERS" LIKE TO USE ILLEGAL ALIENS!