A cabbage farm in northern Florida was charged with several H-2A visa violation by the Department of Labor (DOL), including failure to reimburse workers for their travel time and failure to meet housing safety requirements. The business now owes almost $20,000 in back wages to its employees, and over $5,000 in civil penalty fines to the U.S Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Any business participating in the H-2A visa program can avoid these penalties by keeping up to date with DOL regulations, and seeking timely legal advice to prevent problems from ever arising.
What happens if Democratic lawmakers do not reach an agreement with the Trump administration’s budgeting plans on immigration and border security? Well, President Trump will threaten to shut down the government (again). Many immigration programs continue to be debated for the upcoming fiscal year 2019, including H-2A and H-2B visas. Negotiations to meet Trump’s demands could mean even more changes and regulations added to foreign worker visa programs. Because of this, any employer reliant on H-2A or H-2B should pay close attention to the government’s budget negotiations in upcoming months.
This video highlights a local business’ struggles with finding available workers, in part due to an insufficient number of H-2B visas available. It also emphasizes the economic impact that is estimated to occur as a result of a lack of workers, and how hurtful the current visa lottery system has been on these affected businesses.