March 9, 2021

New 2021 Meal Charges and Reimbursement Rates

By: Jason Resnick

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has announced the allowable meal charges and reimbursement for travel subsistence for H-2A workers, which will be officially published in the Federal Register on March 10. H-2A employers must offer and provide each H-2A worker three meals per day or provide the workers free and convenient cooking facilities. If an employer elects to provide the meals to the H-2A workers, the job offer must state the charge, if any, to the worker for the meals. The updated maximum allowable meal charge in 2021 is $13.17 per day, a $0.49 increase over the 2020 meal charge of $12.68.

H-2A employers must also pay travel and subsistence costs, including the costs of meals and lodging, incurred by H-2A workers during travel to the worksite from the place of departure in the H-2A workers’ home country. The standard meals and incidental expenses rate is $55.00 per day (when receipts are provided) for 2021. If a worker does not provide receipts, the H-2A employer is not required to reimburse above the minimum standard at $13.17 per day. The updated Annual Rates go into effect on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.