March 9, 2021

New 2021 Meal Charges and Reimbursement Rates

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.