Provided by the Department of Labor, the h2a program allows employers who do not have a sufficient number of domestic workers to hire foreign workers for temporary agricultural labor. If you are an employer seeking to hire employees through this program, you will need to be prepared to fulfill many contractual obligations to those employees.
Each of your workers that is employed through an h2a work visa must be provided with a written copy of their work contract, and it must be written in a language they understand. It must include all the terms and conditions of the job, including the start and end date of the contract period, covered expenses, provided equipment, the hours and days of work expected each week, and what crops will be worked at what rates.
Meals and Housing
H2a employers are required to provide their foreign employees with either three free meals per day or fully furnished kitchen facilities where workers can cook their own meals. Employers must also provide free housing for any workers who are reasonably unable to return to their place of residence by the end of the day. You may choose to use rental accommodations, in which case you must cover all related expenses.
For your h2a workers living under employer-provided housing, you are responsible for the expenses of their transportation from their place of residence to the place of work. You may need to provide different types of transportation, and safety standards must always be fully implemented. Other provisions include the employer’s responsibility for workers’ transportation back to the place of recruitment after the contract has ended.
There are many other obligations you will have to meet if you choose to employ h2a workers. For more details regarding these requirements or others such as recruitment, you can visit the Department of Labor’s website.