The H-2B visa guest worker program, used frequently by trainers to fill backside positions, has been the subject of potentially damaging language within the fiscal year 2022 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. United States Representative Andy Harris (R-MD) offered an amendment July 15 to remove certain sections from the bill that would have made it difficult for employers to use the H-2B visa. During committee consideration, the amendment passed by voice vote.
“Thank you to all who contacted their Representative regarding this issue,” said NTRA president and CEO Alex Waldrop. “We also are grateful to Rep. Harris for offering the amendment to eliminate the language that was so threatening to employers, like horse trainers, who use the H-2B visa program.”
The amendment removed sections 116, 118, and 177 from the bill. The language in those sections would have:
- Prohibited industries from using the H-2B program if they experienced unemployment in any of the previous 12 months over 10%;
- Prohibited construction industries from using the program even in seasonal locations or occupations;
- Increased the baseline for wages to at least 150% of the federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher;
- Required wage compliance with a collaborative bargaining agreement for your industry in your area, even if you are not a party to the agreement;
- Banned participation in the program for labor/workforce-related infractions outside of the scope of the H-2B program.