Washington, D.C. (Press Release – September 26, 2011) – Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant applauded the Department of Labor’s (DOL) recent decision to postpone the final rule on wage methodology for the H-2B Visa Program for 60 days. The rule’s effective date is now November 30th. Advocacy has consistently worked with small business on the H-2B rule and has written four public regulatory comment letters to DOL citing the negative impact the wage increase will have on small businesses.
“The potential wage increases under the current H-2B structure would price many small businesses out of the marketplace,” said Sargeant. “And while I support the postponement, the Office of Advocacy is committed to working further with small business and DOL on ways to improve this H-2B rule. These remain challenging times for small businesses. It is important that their voice be heard.”
The H-2B program provides employers facing a shortage of seasonal workers a legal method to temporarily hire foreign workers. Some of the top industries that utilize the H-2B program are landscaping, lodging, construction, restaurants and seafood processing. Under the current rule H-2B wages in affected industries would increase by $1.23-$9.72 per hour.
In the last twelve months Advocacy has held two roundtables with small business on the H-2B issue. Our Regional Advocates have heard from small businesses across the country about the negative impact of the rule. Advocacy will continue to monitor the H-2B issue and its impact on small business.
The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit http://www.sba.gov/advocacy, or call (202) 205-6533.