Congressman Rodney Alexander (R-LA) introduced H.R. 3162 to prevent the Department of Labor (DOL) from instituting two new rules for the H-2B Visa program for seasonal workers that could have a severe negative impact on the horse racing industry and make the program unusable for many owners and trainers.
One of the new rules is scheduled to go into effect on November 30. This rule changes the way the prevailing wage is calculated and requires the employer to pay H-2B workers the highest of the prevailing wage, the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage or the local minimum wage. The new formula could raise rates by as much as 100 percent in some cases.
The DOL also is looking to finalize a second rule in December that would impact the H-2B program. Among the changes, this rule increases the amount of time employers must try to recruit U.S. workers and requires these employers to extend certain benefits to U.S. workers that are offered to H-2B workers. An example is the reimbursement of transportation costs.
You can support this legislation by contacting your Representative here or by calling the Congressional switchboard at (202) 225-3121 to reach your Representative.