A new rule from the Department of Labor (DOL) – slated to take effect September 30 – changes the hourly wage employers must pay currently employed and future H-2B workers. American workers who were recruited in connection with an H-2B job application also will be paid the new wage. The change will impact trainers and others using H-2B workers.
Currently, employers are required to pay such workers the highest rate of the prevailing wage, the federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage or the local minimum wage. The new rule adjusts how the prevailing wage is determined and is expected to raise it. Some industries are reporting 100% increases in wage rates.
Trainers are encouraged to contact their Congressional representatives regarding the new rules. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, American Horse Council and horsemen’s groups have joined with other employers and trade associations under the H-2B Workforce Coalition to express concerns over escalating costs and other issues relating to seasonal workers.