The Labor Department said it had strengthened worker protections in the agricultural guestworker program in two regulations announced on Thursday. One applies to the H-2A program and will take effect on Nov. 14. The other involves temporary labor certification under H-2A and will appear in the Federal Register next week.
Blaine Larsen Inc.—one of the largest potato growers in the country—must pay hundreds of farmworkers more than $1.3 million in back wages, after a Department of Labor investigation found it had systematically underpaid employees. It is at least the third time the DOL has investigated the company for labor violations in as many years.
Following what the White House called "a dangerously hot summer," Labor Secretary Marty Walsh announced on Monday the first step toward a federal standard to protect workers from exposure to excessive heat on the job. The work on a heat safety rule would be part of a government-wide initiative to lessen the impact of hotter weather, a feature of climate change.
The USDA will have to go ahead with its semiannual survey of farmworker wages under a ruling issued Wednesday by a U.S. district court judge. Farmworker advocates say the Trump administration, by attempting to abandon the survey, is trying to depress farm wages.
Agricultural guestworkers will see sharply lower wages because of the USDA's decision to cancel a semiannual survey that is used to calculate their pay, said a lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal district court in Fresno, California. The suit asks the court to order the USDA to carry out the October survey so that the Labor Department can use the results to set minimum wages for the country's 250,000 or more H-2A guestworkers.
Andrew Puzder, President’s Trump’s pick for Secretary of Labor and the CEO of the fast-food chain that owns of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., has withdrawn his nomination, says the New York Times.
More than 1,600 foreign-born sheepherders in the western U.S. are finally getting a pay raise, says High Country News. Brought to the U.S. under the H-2A visa program, the workers are allowed in the country for three years at a time.