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Update on H-2B 9-14-18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, September 14, 2018 12:00 AM

The H-2B Workforce Coalition issued the following update last night, September 13:

This evening the Appropriations Committees filed the conference agreement on the FY 19 Labor-HHS and Department of Defense “minibus” appropriations bill. It also includes a continuing resolution to maintain funding for the Department of Homeland Security and other federal Departments through December 7, 2018. We will keep you updated on the timing of House and Senate votes on the measure, but no votes are expected until next week.

Congress will not take up an FY 2019 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security until after the November elections. As you know, the DHS funding bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee in July would exempt returning workers from the annual H-2B visa cap, reallocate the capped 66,000 visas on a quarterly basis to ensure that employers with late seasons are not shut out of the program and allow for visas to be appropriated on a proportional basis to ensure that all qualifying employers receive at least a percentage of needed H-2B workers. The report that accompanies the Senate Appropriations Committee-passed version of FY 2019 DHS funding bill asks DHS to consider a more equitable annual allocation of the 66,000 visas. The H-2B Workforce Coalition continues to urge Congress to include the House cap relief language in a final appropriations bill.

The conference report that was filed tonight would continue the Department of Labor (DOL) H-2B provisions that have been included in past funding bills. Specifically, the bill would continue the provisions from last year's Omnibus Appropriations law that limit the ability of the Administration to enforce the corresponding employment and 3/4 guarantee provisions of the 2015 regulations, allow for the use of private wage surveys, provide for a 10-month season and allow for staggered crossing for seafood workers.

The text of the bill can be found at:  https://www.appropriations.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Defense%20LHHS%20Minibus%20FY19.pdf.

The H-2B provisions can be found on pages 41-43.

We will let you know when Congress votes on this legislation and continue to keep you updated.

Your H-2B Workforce Coalition Co-Chairs

Laurie Flanagan, representing AmericanHort and the National Association of Landscape Professionals

Brian Crawford, American Hotel and Lodging Association

Gregg Hartley, representing the Outdoor Amusement Business Association

 
Denver listening session about proposed overtime rule on 9/14/18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Thursday, September 13, 2018 12:00 AM

U.S. Department of Labor will host a listening session about the proposed overtime rule in Denver on September 14. REad the full announcement from DOL below.

On September 14, 2018, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. MDT, the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor will hold a public listening session in Denver, Colorado, to gather views on the Part 541 white-collar exemption regulations, often referred to as the "Overtime Rule."

Read more...
 
USDOL release about H-2B enforcement 9/13/18 Email
LAB
Written by H-2B Workforce Coalition   
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:00 AM

See the latest release regarding H-2B education and enforcement from U.S. Department of Labor:

WASHINGTON, DC - To ensure compliance with federal wage laws, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is conducting a nationwide initiative to strengthen compliance with the labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program in the landscaping industry. The initiative includes providing compliance assistance tools and information to employers and stakeholders, as well as conducting investigations of employers using this program.

Read more...
 
H-2B Workforce Coalition issues talking points for Congressional meetings Email
LAB
Written by H-2B Workforce Coalition   
Tuesday, September 11, 2018 12:00 AM

Several groups have upcoming Congressional meetings and asked for talking points. View/download talking points from H-2B Workforce Coalition.

Congress is unlikely to finalize an FY19 DHS appropriations bill and will likely pass a short-term spending measure to fund the Department until after the November elections.

While Congress may not take final action on the spending measure until after the election, it is important to continue to stress the need for cap relief to your lawmakers. Please continue to reach out to your lawmakers and ask them to do the following:

  • ASK THEIR PARTY LEADERS TO INCLUDE THE H-2B CAP RELIEF IN THE HOUSE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE-PASSED FISCAL 2019 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY APPROPRIATIONS LEGISLATION IN THE FINAL DHS APPROPRIATIONS BILL OR ANY OTHER APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION FOR FISCAL YEAR 2019.
  • COSPONSOR AND WORK TO PASS S. 792, “THE SAVE OUR SMALL AND SEASONAL BUSINESSES ACT OF 2017” AND H.R. 2004, “THE STRENGTHEN EMPLOYMENT AND SEASONAL OPPORTUNITIES NOW (SEASON) ACT.”
 
USDOL releases statement about H-2B education and enforcement initiative Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, September 07, 2018 10:00 AM

US Department of Labor has issued the following media release this week:

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR PROTECTS AMERICAN WORKERS WITH H-2B EDUCATION AND ENFORCEMENT INITIATIVE

WASHINGTON, DC - To ensure compliance with federal wage laws, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is conducting a nationwide initiative to strengthen compliance with the labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program in the hotel industry.

Read more...
 
H-2B Returning Worker Amendment Passes Committee Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 11:00 AM

Thanks again for all of the amazing outreach to the Hill this week.  We are thrilled that earlier today that the House Appropriations Committee passed an H-2B amendment offered by Reps. Andy Harris (R-MD), Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Chris Stewart (R-UT) that would do the following:

Read more...
 
EPA continues plan to repeal 2015 WOTUS definition Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Monday, July 23, 2018 12:00 AM

Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published the notice Definition of “Waters of the United States”-Recodification of Preexisting Rule.

According to NALP, they "anticipate a new definition of WOTUS in late 2018."

 
H-2B outreach needed today July 23, 2018 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Monday, July 23, 2018 12:00 AM

In preparation for Wednesday’s House FY 19 Homeland Security Appropriations markup, please do the following:

1. Ask your Representative to sign onto the letter to the Appropriations Committee Chairman and Ranking Member that Reps. Bergman and Keating are circulating. The deadline for signatures is noon tomorrow.

Read more...
 
Call reps to support H-2B visa program 7-20-18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, July 20, 2018 12:00 AM

H-2B updateYesterday, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Homeland Security passed its Fiscal 2019 appropriations bill. The measure does not currently include any H-2B cap relief. We are hopeful that an H-2B returning worker exemption will be added during the full committee markup on the bill on Wednesday. Reps. Harris (R-MD), Cuellar (D-TX) and others will offer the amendment. In order for an H-2B fix to be added to the bill, we need you to do the following TODAY:

Read more...
 
No more H-2B visas to be released this year? Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, July 13, 2018 12:00 AM
From the H-2B Workforce Coalition:
Please see the DHS response to the letter that Reps. Harris, Bergman, Keating, Pingree and the numerous other Members sent asking DHS to release additional H-2B visas. View/download the response.
 
In the letter, DHS says it will not release any more visas this year.  We need your continued help to reach out to Congress. Please do the following:
Read more...
 
Latest on H-2B 6/28/18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Friday, June 29, 2018 12:00 AM
DOL Appropriations
Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its spending bill for the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Education.  The bill continues the following provisions for last year's Omnibus Appropriations bill:  
  • Section 111. The bill continues a provision that provides flexibility with respect to the crossing of H-2B nonimmigrants working in seafood;
Read more...
 
House to vote on bill containing returning worker exemption for H-2B Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Tuesday, June 26, 2018 12:00 AM

The House Judiciary Committee issued a media release outlining H.R. 6136, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act. According to the release, this bill contains a "Returning Worker Exemption for H-2B Visas: The bill now provides that any guestworker counted against the H-2B cap during either of the prior two fiscal years is not counted against the cap for the current fiscal year. The H-2B guest worker program is used by American employers to hire foreign workers for temporary and seasonal work, such as forestry, seafood processing, and other industries."

Read more...
 
H-2B visa lottery is complete 6-11-18 Email
LAB
Written by Cherie Courtade   
Monday, June 11, 2018 12:00 AM

H-2B visa program update

USCIS released the following statement today:

On May 31, 2018, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began receiving H-2B petitions under the temporary final rule increasing the numerical limit, or cap, on H-2B nonimmigrant visas by up to 15,000 additional visas through the end of fiscal year (FY) 2018.

Read more...
 
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