Date: Mar 06, 2014
New Allowable Charges for H-2A Workers' Meals and Travel Announced

The Department of Labor has published a Notice in the Federal Register to announce the allowable charges for 2014 that employers seeking H-2A workers may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker with receipts may claim in 2014. The Notice also includes a reminder regarding employers' obligations with respect to overnight lodging costs as part of required subsistence for the H-2A program.

In its job offer to U.S and H-2A workers, the employer either must state that it will provide each worker with three (3) meals a day or furnish free and convenient cooking and kitchen facilities to the workers that will enable the workers to prepare their own meals. If the employer is going to provide the meals to the workers, the job offer must state the charge, if any, to the worker for such meals. Effective March 5, 2014, the job offer must not charge a worker more than $11.58 for meals per day.

In addition, the employer must state the minimum and maximum amounts of money that workers will receive for daily subsistence when traveling to and from the place of employment. For workers who complete 50 percent or more of the work contract period, the employer must pay workers for subsistence expenses incurred traveling from the place the worker came to the place of employment. If the worker either completes the work contract period or is terminated without cause, and the worker has no immediate subsequent H-2A employment, the employer must pay workers for subsistence expenses incurred traveling from the place of employment back to the place the worker came from to work for the employer. The job offer must state that the worker will receive a minimum of $11.58 per day or a maximum of $46.00 per day with documentation of actual expenses.

The employer must also provide or pay the reasonable costs for lodging where lodging is necessary. If not provided by the employer, the amount an employer must pay for transportation and, where necessary, lodging must be no less than (and is not required to be more than) the most economical and reasonable costs.

WG Staff Contact

Jason Resnick
Sr. Vice President & General Counsel

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