Prevailing Wage Part of H-2B
A federally mandated, prevailing wage requirement may affect what landscape contractor pay for H-2B workers starting as soon as October 1, 2012. Approved by Congress last year, the law is designed to prevent Americans from losing jobs to lower-paid foreign workers.
The federal law requires employers to pay H-2B workers the prevailing wage, something like the minimum wage for a particular industry, said LSU AgCenter economist Mike Salassi. The prevailing wage varies by industry.
According to an article in The Advocate, landscaping companies may have to raise H-2B workers’ pay from $8.60 an hour to $11.38 (in Louisiana), an increase of 42.4 percent. Although there are those that argue the rate increase may be lower.
H-2B employers must request a prevailing wage from the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) by submitting a completed ETA Form 9141, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination. Instructions are online at: www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov.
The NPWC will return the form, detailing the prevailing wage, the source, and the validity period. The H-2B employer must retain the form in accordance with documentation retention requirements.
For additional information online, go to: www.dol.gov/WHD/regs/compliance/whdfs78a.htm