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  • News: DOL Notice of 2016 Adverse Effect Wage Rates for H-2A Workers

    Federal Register, Volume 80 Issue 245 (Tuesday, December 22, 2015)
    [Federal Register Volume 80, Number 245 (Tuesday, December 22, 2015)]
    [Notices]
    [Pages 79614-79615]
    From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
    [FR Doc No: 2015-32114]
    
    
    =======================================================================
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
    
    Employment and Training Administration
    
    
    Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of 
    Aliens in Agriculture in the United States: 2016 Adverse Effect Wage 
    Rates
    
    AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor.
    
    ACTION: Notice.
    
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    
    SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the 
    Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this notice to announce the 
    2016 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs) for the employment of temporary 
    or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H-2A workers) to perform 
    agricultural labor or services.
        AEWRs are the minimum wage rates the Department has determined must 
    be offered and paid by employers to H-2A workers and workers in 
    corresponding employment for a particular occupation and area so that 
    the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely 
    affected. In this notice, the Department announces the annual update of 
    the AEWRs which must be paid for agricultural work performed by H-2A 
    and U.S. workers on or after the effective date of this notice.
    
    DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective December 22, 2015.
    
    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William W. Thompson, II, Acting 
    Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification, U.S. Department 
    of Labor, Box 12-200, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 
    20210. Telephone: 202-513-7350 (this is not a toll-free number).
    
    SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration 
    Services of the Department of Homeland Security will not approve an 
    employer's petition for the admission of H-2A nonimmigrant temporary 
    agricultural workers in the U.S. unless the petitioner has received 
    from the Department an H-2A labor certification. The labor 
    certification provides that: (1) There are not sufficient U.S. workers 
    who are able, willing, and qualified and who will be available at the 
    time and place needed to perform the labor or services involved in the 
    petition; and (2) the employment of the foreign worker(s) in such labor 
    or services will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions 
    of workers in the U.S. similarly employed. 8 U.S.C. 
    1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a), 1184(c)(1), and 1188(a); 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5); 20 
    CFR 655.100.
    
    Adverse Effect Wage Rates for 2016
    
        The Department's H-2A regulations at 20 CFR 655.120(l) provide that 
    employers must pay their H-2A workers and workers in corresponding 
    employment at least the highest of: (1) The AEWR; (2) the prevailing 
    hourly wage rate; (3) the prevailing piece rate; (4) the agreed-upon 
    collective bargaining wage rate, if applicable; or (5) the Federal or 
    State minimum wage rate, in effect at the time the work is performed.
        Except as otherwise provided in 20 CFR part 655, subpart B, the 
    region-wide AEWR for all agricultural employment (except those 
    occupations characterized by other than a reasonably regular workday or 
    workweek as described in 20 CFR 655.102) for which temporary H-2A 
    certification is being sought is equal to the annual weighted average 
    hourly wage rate for field and livestock workers (combined) in the 
    State or region as published annually by the United States Department 
    of
    
    [[Page 79615]]
    
    Agriculture (USDA). 20 CFR 655.120(c) requires that the Administrator 
    of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification publish the USDA field and 
    livestock worker (combined) wage data as AEWRs in a Federal Register 
    notice. Accordingly, the 2016 AEWRs to be paid for agricultural work 
    performed by H-2A and U.S. workers on or after the effective date of 
    this notice are set forth in the table below:
    
                      Table--2016 Adverse Effect Wage Rates
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                              State                             2016 AEWRs
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alabama.................................................          $10.59
    Arizona.................................................           11.20
    Arkansas................................................           10.69
    California..............................................           11.89
    Colorado................................................           11.27
    Connecticut.............................................           11.74
    Delaware................................................           11.66
    Florida.................................................           10.70
    Georgia.................................................           10.59
    Hawaii..................................................           12.64
    Idaho...................................................           11.75
    Illinois................................................           12.07
    Indiana.................................................           12.07
    Iowa....................................................           12.17
    Kansas..................................................           13.80
    Kentucky................................................           10.85
    Louisiana...............................................           10.69
    Maine...................................................           11.74
    Maryland................................................           11.66
    Massachusetts...........................................           11.74
    Michigan................................................           12.02
    Minnesota...............................................           12.02
    Mississippi.............................................           10.69
    Missouri................................................           12.17
    Montana.................................................           11.75
    Nebraska................................................           13.80
    Nevada..................................................           11.27
    New Hampshire...........................................           11.74
    New Jersey..............................................           11.66
    New Mexico..............................................           11.20
    New York................................................           11.74
    North Carolina..........................................           10.72
    North Dakota............................................           13.80
    Ohio....................................................           12.07
    Oklahoma................................................           11.15
    Oregon..................................................           12.69
    Pennsylvania............................................           11.66
    Rhode Island............................................           11.74
    South Carolina..........................................           10.59
    South Dakota............................................           13.80
    Tennessee...............................................           10.85
    Texas...................................................           11.15
    Utah....................................................           11.27
    Vermont.................................................           11.74
    Virginia................................................           10.72
    Washington..............................................           12.69
    West Virginia...........................................           10.85
    Wisconsin...............................................           12.02
    Wyoming.................................................           11.75
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    
        Pursuant to the H-2A regulations at 20 CFR 655.173, the Department 
    will publish a separate Federal Register notice in early 2016 to 
    announce (1) the allowable charges for 2016 that employers seeking H-2A 
    workers may charge their workers for providing them three meals a day; 
    and (2) the maximum travel subsistence reimbursement which a worker 
    with receipts may claim in 2016.
    
    Portia Wu,
    Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
    [FR Doc. 2015-32114 Filed 12-21-15; 8:45 am]
     BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P
    
    
    
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