Employers who use the H-2B visa temporary guest worker program will be required to follow new procedures starting on Monday, April 23, 2012. These changes are the result of a Department of Labor (DOL) final rule that was issued on February 21, 2012.

Owners and trainers in the Thoroughbred industry employ H-2B workers when they are unable to secure American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs at racetracks.

Among other changes under the new rule, H-2B employers must:

  • Pay for most inbound and outbound travel for H-2B workers, including daily subsistence expenses.
  • Extend H-2B program benefits to U.S. “corresponding workers” who work alongside H-2B workers and perform substantially the same work.
  • Demonstrate and not merely attest that they have taken specific steps to recruit U.S. workers.
  • Increase the amount of time spent recruiting U.S. workers.
  • Define temporary need as 9 months (previously 10 months).
  • Define full time employment as 35 hours per week (previously 30 hours).

To read more about the H-2B visa program rule changes, click here.