New H-2A Rules are Published

The Department of Labor issued new rules earlier this month governing the H-2A program. We’ve been expecting changes to the program for almost three years. The Trump Administration published a rule just before they left which was negated as soon as the Biden Administration took over. The new rules are the revisions that have been adopted as a replacement. Sound Confusing???? Yep. This is not how the sausage is supposed to be made.

There is very little to like in the new rule. Most of the significant procedural changes will not be apparent to our members because they deal with the filing of petitions and applications. There are significant changes to the bonding requirements which could make it much harder for Labor Contractors to access the program. Some feel the bonding could kick most of the LC’s out but that has to bee seen yet.

The linked article has a lot more detail on the rules. It does a much better job than I can in this format. Understand this rule can go into actual effect this week but will really affect next year’s harvest for our industry.

As I mentioned, the way this rule came out is not normal and some of the things contained in it could be significant impacts to some users of the program either increasing cost or eliminating their access. There are a number of groups that have discussed filing for stopping this rule. We’ll update you as we hear more. For now, we wanted to get this on your radar if you’re considering the program for next year.