Farmworker Justice Policy Update


Legislative Update

October was a quiet month on Capitol Hill with Congress in recess as election season is in full force. The winners of next Tuesday's election will not be sworn in until the beginning of the new year, and this "lame duck" session is shaping up to be a very busy one: Members of the House and Senate will return to a full slate of legislative initiatives, as well as a December 15 government funding deadline. We will continue to provide updates as we begin to see movement on farmworker bills, including the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act. For more information about these bills, read FJ's fact sheets on the Farm Workforce Modernization Act and the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act.


Administrative Updates

New H-2A Rule: The U.S. Department of Labor (U.S. DOL) issued a final rule for the H-2A visa program. Slated to take effect on November 14, 2022, the rule makes changes to rental housing, meals and reimbursements, labor contractor bonds, debarments, and prevailing wage determinations. Read FJ's fact sheets to learn more:

H-2B Cap Increase: On October 12, the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will make an additional 64,716 H-2B visas available for fiscal year 2023. These additional visas will supplement the 66,000 H-2B visas that are normally available every year. Learn More

U.S. DOL Proposes Rule on Independent Contractors: U.S. DOL released a proposed rule that would change the test used to determine whether a worker is an employee or independent contractor under the Fair Labor Standards Act. DOL is accepting written comments until November 28. Learn More

OFLC FAQ & Webinar on H-2A Filing and Processing: The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) recently published an FAQ about job order filing and processing. Read the FAQ OFLC will host a webinar on November 17 about how the new H-2A rule impacts on filing and processing. Please note that the webinar is primarily geared towards employers. Learn More


Other News from FJ

2022 National Farmworker Law Conference: In collaboration with the National Legal Aid and Defenders Association, Farmworker Justice hosted the 2022 National Farmworker Law Conference. Over 200 farmworker advocates joined us in Virginia for this instructive conference. A special thank you to all the advocates in attendance, our excellent panelists, and the keynote speaker, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Julie Su.

Latino Climate Justice Framework Report: GreenLatinos released a report aimed at addressing the climate crisis. FJ is proud to have contributed to the development of this framework! Read the Framework

Litigation Updates

First Circuit Rules Against Maine H-2A Trucking Law: The First Circuit upheld a challenge to a Maine law that prevented trucking companies from using Canadian H-2A workers. Read the Opinion


What Else We're Reading

Georgia State Senator Relied on Farm Contractors Involved in Major Human Trafficking Case (USA Today)

Teen Farmworkers Support the US Agricultural Industry But Have Few Protections (Teen Vogue)

Black saliva, sore throat, shortness of breath: How dangerous is wildfire season for US farmworkers? (USA Today)

Students Are Building the Next Generation of Farmworker Advocates (Civil Eats)

$3.7M NIH Grant to Fund Study of Structural Racism, Pandemic Effects on Farmworkers (Maryland Today)

Undocumented farmworkers face disaster discrimination (Axios)

UC exhibit sheds light on plight of valley farmworkers (Merced County Times)


Have Questions?

The FJ Policy Team is always here to serve as a resource for our partners.

- Alexis Guild, Director of Health Policy and Programs

- Andrew Walchuk, Senior Policy Counsel & Director of Government Relations

- Heide Hernandez-Jimenez, Legal Fellow

- Mayra Reiter, Project Director, Occupational Safety and Health

- Trent Taylor, Staff Attorney

Farmworker Justice
1126 16th St. NW, Suite LL-101 | Washington, DC 20036

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