Were you working in the U.S. on an H-2A visa at any point between January 15, 2021 and February 23, 2021? Or are you a U.S. based farmworker who worked alongside H-2A workers during this period? If so, you may be eligible for a wage adjustment payment under a recent U.S. District Court order.
Why did the court issue a wage adjustment order?
Each year, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) publishes Adverse Effect Wage Rates (“AEWRs”), which are the minimum wage for H-2A workers and vary by state. The Trump administration tried to change the rules on how the DOL sets AEWRs. Worker advocates sued to challenge the new rules, and the court ordered the U.S. government to reinstate the old rules for setting AEWRs. Eligible workers are entitled to the difference in wages between the old and new rules.
How do I know if I am eligible for a wage adjustment payment?
To be eligible for a wage adjustment payment, you must:
Have worked at least one day in the U.S. on an H-2A visa (or alongside H-2A workers) between January 15, 2021 and February 23, 2021.
Have received a wage below the applicable 2021 AEWR during this time period. You can check the 2021 AEWR for the state in which you were working here.
Have worked for an employer that submitted an H-2A job order or an H-2A labor certification application to the U.S. government between December 21, 2020 and February 23, 2021. Job orders and labor certifications are documents H-2A employers must submit and have approved before they can legally hire H-2A visa workers.
If I am eligible, when will I receive my wage adjustment payment and how much will I receive?
All eligible workers should receive a reimbursement check from their employer by September 4, 2021. Payments will be calculated based on the total number of hours worked from January 15, 2021 to February 23, 2021, multiplied by the difference between the wage received and the applicable 2021 AEWR.
If you believe you are owed money for agricultural work, or if you have concerns about your workplace, please do not hesitate to call Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM). You can call from the United States at 855-234-9699 and from Mexico at 800-590-1773. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (CT). All calls are free and confidential.
Imágen: Flickr/Uect 2005 /Vía Flickr.com