Employers seeking temporary nonagricultural workers through the H-2B visa program would be required to post advertisements for the jobs online for at least 14 days under a rule proposed by the US Department of Labor and the US Department of Homeland Security. This would replace a current rule that requires employers to advertise such positions in two newspaper print ads.
The Department of Labor simultaneously proposed a similar rule for temporary agricultural workers obtained through the H-2A visa program.
The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration’s Office of Foreign Labor Certification determines whether American workers are available to perform the jobs for which employers seek foreign workers. One way the department determines the availability of American workers is by requiring employer applicants for foreign labor certification to actively recruit American workers.
The labor department said Internet-based advertising would help American job seekers identify available job opportunities. And the longer posting period of 14 days would provide more time for workers to learn of job opportunities.
US Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., who represents a district with many tree fruit growers using H-2A workers, told agricultural website Capital Press that modern recruitment practices are long overdue; the proposed rule will save farmers millions of dollars in print advertising. Farmers could still advertise in print but it would not be required, he said.
“Although a grower may spend more than $5,000 on the required print media advertising, it is rare that a potential domestic worker reads the paper and applies for an open position,” Newhouse said.