February 25, 2015

Allowable Charges for H-2A Workers’ Reimbursement Announced

The Department of Labor has published a Notice in the Federal Register to announce the allowable charges and subsistence reimbursements related to H-2A workers in 2015.  The notice provides the maximum meal charge for employers who provide three meals per day to workers, as well as the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker with receipts may claim. It also includes a reminder about the 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.  The maximum meal charge is $11.86 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 from 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 maximum daily subsistence amount remains at $46.00 per day for 2015 with documentation of actual expenses. If a worker has no receipts, the minimum daily subsistence reimbursement is $11.86 per day.