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What is the Definition of Corresponding Wage Rule as it Applies to H2-A Workers?

Updated: May 22


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The corresponding wage rule is a provision of the H-2A program that requires agricultural employers to pay both H-2A and non-H-2A workers the same wage rate for the same job in order to ensure that the employment of foreign workers does not adversely affect the wages of U.S. workers. Specifically, the rule requires that the wages offered to H-2A workers must be the same as those offered to non-H-2A workers who are performing the same or similar work and are similarly qualified.

The corresponding wage rule is intended to protect U.S. workers from wage suppression and ensure that employers do not use the H-2A program to bring in foreign workers at lower wages, thereby undermining the wages and working conditions of domestic workers. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) enforces the corresponding wage rule, and agricultural employers who violate the rule can face penalties and other sanctions.

The wage rates for H-2A workers are determined by the Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) system, which sets the minimum wage that must be paid to H-2A workers based on the prevailing wage rates for similar agricultural jobs in the same geographic area. The AEWR is calculated each year by the DOL and is intended to ensure that the employment of H-2A workers does not adversely affect the wages of U.S. workers.

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