NALP is working with DOL, USCIS and Congress to ensure that the H2-B program works as intended for its members next year and they need your help. First, NALP needs you to weigh in again with your elected officials to ensure that Congress renews the H-2B returning worker exemption that is currently set to expire on September 30. Second, they recommend that you follow the tips below and work with your provider to create the best application possible.
Prior to the August recess, the House Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2017 Department of Homeland Appropriations bill, which would renew the H-2B returning worker exemption for another year. The Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the Department of Labor Appropriations bill that would extend the H-2B regulatory relief for another year and provide additional resources for H-2B processing. While Congress is not expected to complete work on these appropriations bills before the start of the fiscal year on October 1, it is expected to pass a stop-gap spending measure called a continuing resolution that will keep the federal government running.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT THE CONTINUING RESOLUTION EXTEND THE H-2B RETURNING WORKER EXEMPTION BEYOND SEPTEMBER 30.
Here’s how you can help:
Schedule a meeting with your Senators and Representative. Congress is currently on recess so call to request meetings with your elected officials in their local offices. When possible invite other local businesses that use the program to attend the meeting with you. During the meeting explain the importance of the H-2B program to your business, your American workers and the local economy. Ask them to work with their party leadership to extend the H-2B returning worker exemption beyond September 30.
Call your Senators and Representative. If you do not know their direct numbers, you can reach them through the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 225-3121. Once connected to the office, ask to speak to the person who handles H-2B issues and tell him or her how important the H-2B program is to you. Ask them to work with their party leadership to extend the H-2B returning worker exemption beyond September 30.
Email your Senators and Representatives. You can send a letter through our Legislative Action Center.
Tweet at your Senators and Representative using #SaveH2B. You can find their twitter handles here. Some sample tweets are below. You are also encouraged to re-tweet NALP tweets.
Create peer pressure. Encourage your employees, co-workers, suppliers, and other industry colleagues to reach out to their elected officials.
The best tweets are those that you can personalize to your member of Congress and be specific to the state. For example:
@USRepRodney NJ seasonal businesses need an H-2B returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
@Robert_Aderholt AL seafood processors need an H-2B returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
@JudgeCarter TX landscapers need an H-2B returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
Additional Sample Tweets:
82% of H-2B visa workers are returning workers – proof that they are treated well. #saveH2B
The H-2B program relies on workers who come to the U.S. for seasonal work, then go home. #saveH2B
Every H-2B worker creates and sustains 4.64 American jobs #saveH2B
#saveH2B and save American Jobs!
H-2B program = more American jobs. #saveH2B
H-2B workers support American jobs. #saveH2B
Why reinvent the wheel? Renew the returning worker exemption. #SaveH2B
H-2B Filing Tips
DO NOT WAIT. File your prevailing wage request as soon as possible. The validity period for obtaining a prevailing wage determination using the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Wage Survey will be good through June 30, 2017, so there is no reason to delay requesting a prevailing wage determination. Even if you desire to use an employer-provided wage survey, it is a good practice to go ahead and request a wage determination for your job using the OES wage survey. There is no guarantee that the employer-provided survey will be approved; play it safe and get the OES wage determination.
BE CONSISTENT IN DESCRIBING YOUR JOB. You should describe the job duties, in detail, to be performed by any worker filling the job opportunity. Specify the field(s) and/or product(s) involved, any equipment to be used, and pertinent working conditions. The duties provided must be consistent with and specific enough to be classified under a relevant SOC pursuant to the O*Net publication. The O*NET task statements contained in the Landscaping/Groundskeeping position provide a good framework.
WATCH OUT FOR COMBINATION OF DUTIES. For example, if a landscaping employer wants workers to also perform supervisory duties which are not contained within the scope of a basic landscape laborer job, then please be aware that the NPWC will consider this a combination of occupations and the prevailing wage rate associated with the most appropriate O*NET code performing First-Line Supervisory duties will be taken into account when issuing the wage determination.