On May 17, 2011, EPI Vice President Ross Eisenbrey and Immigration Policy Analyst Daniel Costa submitted public comments to the U.S. Department of Labor on its proposed rule to overhaul the H-2B guestworker program. The new rule includes significant improvements to the program, including:
- Better worker protections for both U.S. and foreign workers;
- Increased recruiting requirements to attract unemployed U.S. workers for open positions;
- Requiring that employers pay transportation costs for U.S. workers to and from a worksite when the same benefit is provided to H-2B workers; and
- Provisions that protect H-2B workers who wish to organize, and shield them from retaliation by their employers for doing so.
EPI’s comments are supportive of the proposed regulatory changes but also outline ways in which the program could be improved in order to strengthen protections for both U.S. and foreign workers.