Labor Department Finalizes H-2A Wage Rule

On Monday, the Labor Department issued a final rule that updates the methodology for determining the annual Adverse Effect Wage Rates in the H-2A visa program. The Trump administration claims the new rule improves the consistency of the wage rates, provides stronger protections for workers, and establishes better stability and predictability for employers.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue praised the announcement, stating the update “will ensure greater stability for farmers and help them make long term business decisions rather than facing uncertainty year after year.”

The move follows USDA’s action to discontinue a report previously used to set wages. However, a federal judge ordered USDA to resume the report. The reality of the H-2A rule is farmers can pay significantly lower wages to H-2A workers.

The United Farm Works union last month claimed the Trump administration effort would cut field laborers’ wages by more than 5% in California, up to 27% in Oregon and 46% in Idaho.

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