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ETA Announces 2012 Adverse Effect Wage Rates for H-2A Workers

On December 22, 2011, the Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the 2012 adverse effect wage rates (AEWRs) for the employment of temporary or seasonal nonimmigrant foreign workers to perform agricultural labor or services (H–2A workers). AEWRs are the minimum wage rates employers must offer and pay to H–2A workers and workers in corresponding employment for a particular occupation and area so that the wages of similarly employed U.S. workers will not be adversely affected. The Department’s H–2A regulations provide that employers must pay their H–2A workers and workers in corresponding employment at least the highest of: (i) the AEWR; (ii) the prevailing wage; (iii) the prevailing piece rate; (iv) the agreed-upon collective bargaining wage, if applicable; or (v) the federal or state minimum wage in effect at the time the work is performed.

The AEWRs range from a low of $9.30 per hour in Mississippi and Louisiana to a high of $12.26 per hour in Hawaii.

The notice is available here.

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