Special information for US Citizens and Legal Permanent Residents at Farms with H-2A Guestworkers
If you are working at or referred to a farm that also has H-2A workers (foreign workers imported by the farm on visas), you are entitled to what is promised in the H-2A workers’ contract (sometimes called a clearance order or job order). This contract is your contract too, and the farm must give you a copy by the time the job begins. The farm also has to comply with the promises made in the contract. If the farm doesn’t follow the contract or does not hire you, you can call our office for assistance. You can check to see if your employer has an H-2A job order using the iCert Visa Portal system.
US workers who work on a farm with H-2A workers have the right to a special wage required at farms that employ guestworkers. In Georgia in 2013, that wage is $9.78 per hour, averaged over each week of work. For more information about the Average Affect Wage Rate in your state, please visithttp://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/adverse.cfm.
If you apply to work at a farm that also employs H-2A workers before the halfway point of the contract, farms are legally required to hire you. They cannot tell you that there are no jobs or that no work is available. Up to the halfway point of the contract, farms must displace foreign workers to make room for local or U.S. workers. Additionally, if there are H-2A workers working the packing shed or driving tractors, you also have the right to work in the packing shed or driving a tractor. The farm cannot tell you that the only jobs available are in the field. Some farms discriminate against U.S. workers and prefer to hire foreign workers from other countries. If you think you have experienced discrimination or want more information about your rights to a job on a farm with H-2A workers, please contact our office.