December 22, 2016

2017 H-2A Wage Rates Now in Effect

Tomorrow, December 23, 2016, the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) issued its Federal Register Notice to announce the 2017 Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs). This notice applies to the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers (H–2A workers) to perform agricultural labor or services.

AEWRs are the minimum wage rates the Department has determined must be offered and paid by employers to H–2A workers and workers in corresponding employment for a particular occupation and area so that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected. In its Notice, the Department has announced the annual update of the AEWRs is effective tomorrow.

The Arizona AEWR has dipped from $11.20 to $10.95 per hour. California’s AEWR has increased from $11.89 to $12.57 per hour. Colorado employers will see a dip in the AEWR for the second year in a row, from $11.27 to $11.00 per hour

California employers currently under an H-2A contract will have to immediately increase the minimum wage rates loaded into their payroll systems for workers now in the field.  Arizona and Colorado employers may only decrease their minimum hourly wage if their H-2A contracts permit such lowering. Western Growers Labor Services routinely include such language in its clients’ contracts.

Since 2005, Western Growers has provided members with H-2A services. If you would like more information about Western Growers Labor Services or the H-2A program in general, please contact Jason Resnick, Vice president and General Counsel, at (949) 885-2253.