Changes on the horizon for H-2A temporary agricultural labor rules

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Evin Bachelor, Law Fellow, Ohio State University Extension Agricultural & Resource Law ProgramThe U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) says that it has found a number of inefficiencies in the H-2A temporary agricultural labor visa program, and the department has a solution: change the program’s rules. The DOL has proposed a number of administrative rule changes that it believes will make the approval process move along quicker, relieve burdens on U.S. farms, and create a more level playing field with regards to pay. Before we talk about the rule changes, let’s recap what the H-2A program is. H-2A is a visa program for seasonal agricultural laborers from other countriesLabor shortages have plagued farms across the United States for decades. Congress first created a visa program for non-immigrant labor in the early 1950s, but it wasn’t until 1986 that Congress established the H-2A visa program for temporary agricultural workers. Under this program, farmers may apply to employ H-2A workers on their farm on a temporary or seasonal basis for up to a year, but may apply to renew the worker’s visa for up to three total years.In order to hire H-2A workers, an employer must certify in an application to the DOL that there are not enough qualified domestic workers willing and able to perform temporary and seasonal agricultural labor. In order to prove that there is not enough domestic labor, the farmer must demonstrate an effort to advertise the available work in the local area.Further, the farmer must demonstrate to the DOL that employing foreign workers will not negatively affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers. In other words, a farmer can’t hire foreign labor because it’s cheaper. A farmer is expected to pay the foreign workers the same as the farmer would pay domestic workers, based upon the higher of the DOL’s Adverse Effect Wage Rate, minimum wage, or prevailing wage. What does the Department of Labor seek to change?The DOL proposes to make several changes to the H-2A program’s administrative rules. Some of these changes update the rules to reflect what is already happening, while some make slight changes to the program’s overall scope.Mandate e-filing. The DOL currently allows farmers to submit their applications online or in hard copy, but reports that four-fifths of applications are completed online. A review by the DOL has found that online applications get completed more quickly, have fewer errors, and reduce costs relative to hard copy submissions. Under the new rule, the DOL would require all applications to be completed online, unless the farmer has a disability or does not have Internet access.Allow e-signatures. The DOL currently requires farmers to sign a hard copy of their applications and either scan the document into the application or mail it. Under the new rule, the DOL would accept e-signatures as equal to handwritten signatures.Subdivide the adverse effect wage rate based upon specific agricultural occupations. In the previous section, we noted that the farmer must pay the foreign workers the same as he or she would pay domestic workers. One way to determine that wage is to use the DOL’s Adverse Effect Wage Rate. Currently, the DOL has one rate for a state or region based upon the combined numbers for field and livestock workers. Under the new rule, the DOL would use Farm Labor Survey data to subdivide agricultural occupations in order to ensure that higher paying occupations, such as supervisors of farmworkers and construction laborers on farms, use an Adverse Effect Wage Rate that properly reflects the wages of those higher paying occupations, rather than one general rate for all agricultural workers.Update the methodology for calculating prevailing wage standards. Another way to calculate the minimum wages of H-2A laborers is to base their pay off of the prevailing wage. The current method of calculating the prevailing wage, which has not been updated since 1981, requires in-person interviews of employers. Under the new rule, the DOL would eliminate the in-person requirement and allow states to collect data using more modern methods.Incorporate guidance letters regarding animal shearing, commercial beekeeping, custom combining, and reforestation occupations into formal rules. When asked for an interpretation of its rules and policies, a federal agency may issue a guidance letter to the person seeking an interpretation. These guidance letters are not necessarily binding, and have no general application beyond the person seeking the interpretation. By incorporating the guidance into a formal rule, the interpretation holds the force of law. The DOL identified these occupations as unique relative to other agricultural occupations, and created a special set of procedures to obtain H-2A laborers to work these types of jobs.Expand the definition of “agriculture” to include reforestation and pine straw activities. Currently, reforestation and pine straw occupations are only available for H-2B applications, which are for non-agricultural occupations. Under the new rule, these activities would be eligible for the agricultural based visa.Reduce the time an employer must allow a domestic worker to apply for a job to 30 days. Currently, the DOL requires a farmer to hire all eligible, willing, and qualified U.S. workers who make themselves available to work until the half way point in the H2-A contract period. This means that if a farmer has H-2A laborers working under a six-month contract, then the farmer must hire any eligible, willing, and qualified domestic worker during the first three months of the contract. Under the new rule, the farmer would only have to leave such opportunity open to domestic workers for 30 days.Allow an employer to stagger the entry of H-2A labor. Sometimes a farmer does not need all of the H-2A labor to arrive at once, but rather needs some to start on one date and then others to start on a different date. Currently, this would require the farmer to submit an application for each date on which the farmer needs H-2A labor. Under the new rule, the farmer would be able to submit one application but stagger the start dates of his or her workers over the course of 120 days. This 120-day clock begins on the day the first H-2A workers enter the U.S.The public may submit comments until Sept. 24, 2019As part of the public rulemaking process, the DOL is seeking public input on the proposed rule changes. Members of the public may submit written comments to the DOL until Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2019.You may submit a comment online (visit https://www.regulations.gov/) or by mail (send to Adele Gagliardi, Administrator, Office of Policy Development and Research, Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Room N-5641, Washington, DC 20210). When mailing comments, be sure to include the rule’s Regulatory Information Number (RIN): 1205-AB89.last_img read more

Black admits ‘not very happy’ with how Game 7 was governed

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first_imgREAD: Gins can’t relax–ConeWith Black opting to not go into details, the press went to his deputy Luigi Trillo for some explanation.“Obviously, there were calls that were tough down the stretch. They called certain backings, we thought there was a backing, but Ginebra played well in the start,” he said.Although he shared the same sentiment with Black, Trillo did give the Gin Kings some credit for what was a hard-fought game.“It’s hard to play a knockout game chasing from behind. They had a lot of energy to start the game. LA and Justin hit shots that were mano-mano. They made some shots, and it is what it is. Hats off to them,” he said. Read Next The Bolts crawled their way back from 20 points down, 32-52 in the second quarter and finally strung a huge run in the endgame, cutting the lead down to single digits.READ: Black blasts Cone after post-game spat Black, though, was left fuming on the bench after the officials made two head-scratching calls.The first was a foul on Anjo Caram, when LA Tenorio tripped in his own foot without the diminutive guard making any contact with the veteran playmaker, at the 2:45 mark of the fourth quarter. That call rewarded Tenorio two freebies which brought Ginebra’s lead back up to 11, 96-85.The second was the more heartbreaking, as the officials failed to call a backcourt violation on Justin Brownlee in the final minute just mere seconds after Jared Dillinger sliced the lead down to four, 100-96.ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia03:23Albayalde concedes: ‘Very inappropriate’ to ask not to enforce an order01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games The usually outspoken Black kept his mouth shut regarding the outcome of the game even as he failed to hide his frustration on the heels of another bridesmaid finish.READ: Ginebra escapes Meralco in Game 7, completes title repeat FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Other than that, I don’t really have any comments. I wasn’t very happy with the way the game was governed tonight and I don’t wanna give the Commissioner any money so I’d just leave it at that, okay? Thank you,” he said as he made his exit.Though Black did not expound on what he meant, he was certainly referring to how the game was officiated in the endgame. Norman Black. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBOCAUE — Meralco coach Norman Black kept it short and sweet after his side once again finished runner-up to Ginebra, losing Game 7, 101-96, in front of a record-breaking Philippine Arena crowd.“First of all, congratulations to Ginebra and coach Tim (Cone),” he said as he made his way out of the dugout.ADVERTISEMENT Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort LATEST STORIES John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Ateneo boots out UE from Final Four race, gains twice-to-beatlast_img read more

2016 Elite Eight Finals on Fox Sports!

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first_imgTouch Football Australia (TFA) is pleased to announce that the 2016 Elite Eight Series finals will replayed on Fox Sports 1 next week.   The finals, which first appeared on Fox Sports 1 in early April, will be replayed at the following times: Tuesday, 19 April 2.30pm – 4.00pm (Fox Sports 1)Friday, 22 April3.00am – 4.30am (Fox Sports 1)The Elite Eight Men’s and Women’s grand finals as well as the NTL Mixed Open and selected NTL grand finals were live streamed direct from C.ex International Stadium by Power Productions in March, you can watch how it all unfolded here. Be sure to lock it in to your TV viewing schedule and share this among your colleagues and friends!Related LinksElite Eight finals on TV!last_img

19 days agoArsenal move to buy back PSV striker Donyell Malen

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first_imgArsenal move to buy back PSV striker Donyell Malenby Paul Vegas19 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal are moving to buy back PSV Eindhoven striker Donyell Malen.Malen has been able to launch his senior career with PSV after a difficult spell inside Arsenal’s academy.The Holland international is on the radar of AC Milan, but Tuttosport says the Gunners are ready to make a bumper offer.The Londoners aim to wait until the summer before offering €56m for the striker.Malen, 20, has this season hit eight goals in eight league games. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Report Gail India Drops Tender for LNG Vessels

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first_imgzoom India’s gas utility Gail India Ltd has decided to scrap its tender to hire nine newly-built liquefied natural gas (LNG) vessels which were supposed to carry LNG cargoes from US, according to The Financial Express.Following the move, made due to a lack of qualified bidders, the company will reportedly look to charter LNG vessels under three- to four-year charter deals.Three ships out of the nine planned under the tender were set to be built in India to boost Indian shipbuilding capabilities.Also interested in Gail’s USD 7 million tender for nine LNG carriers were the South Korean shipbuilding majors, while the tender reportedly sparked the interest of Japanese owners as well.The LNG carriers ordered overseas were scheduled to be completed by May 2019, whereas the batch to be built by domestic shipyards was set to be delivered between July 2022 and June 2023.World Maritime News contacted Gail India for more details on the decision to cancel the tender, however, the company is yet to reply.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Retired Senator says fudged claims nothing new except its now in the

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first_imgAPTN National NewsThelma Chalifoux was appointed to the Senate in 1997 and retired in 2004.She spent years in the institution that has been in the midst of a full blown scandal involving improper expense and living allowance claims that has since dragged in the Prime Minister’s Office.APTN host Michael Hutchinson recently spoke with the retired Senator from Edmonton.last_img

Nadal seals semifinal spot with gusty win over Struff

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first_imgBarcelona: Rafael Nadal remained on course for a 12th Barcelona Open title after a hard fought 7-5 7-5 win over Jan-Lennard Struff in the quarter-finals. He played Struff for the first time but made a quick start by breaking early and leading 4-1. Struff broke back to level at 4-4 but when serving for the match, Nadal produced two of his best returns of the set to force errors from the German and win the set. The second set stayed on serve until 6-5 when Nadal upped his level again and on match point, he passed Struff with a breathtaking forehand pass. Also Read – We will push hard for Kabaddi”s inclusion in 2024 Olympics: RijijuMeanwhile, Kei Nishikori on Friday kept alive his hopes of earning a third Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell title, battling past home favourite Roberto Carballes Baena 6-4, 7-5 to reach the semi-finals. The 2014-15 Barcelona champion arrived in Spain on a three-match losing streak, but he has raised his level at the ATP 500 tournament with three straight-sets victories. The World No. 7 won all but six first-serve points (39/45) en route to his one-hour, 53-minute triumph. Also Read – Djokovic to debut against Shapovalov at Shanghai Masters”The second set was very tight. I had many chances,” Nishikori said. “I couldn’t convert and he started playing better. He almost had a chance to go to three sets, so it was a very good game, I would say. But the past two games I finished really well and played good tennis again.” Nishikori will face in-form Daniil Medvedev for a spot in Sunday’s championship match. The Japanese star has won two of the pair’s three FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings, including their only match on clay last year in Monte-Carlo. But the Russian was victorious in their biggest battle, in the final of Tokyo last season. “He’s definitely a tough player,” Nishikori said. “He has a good serve, good reach. He gets many balls. He moves well for his height, so I have to play a lot of good tennis if I want to beat him.” It was not an easy quarter-final for the fourth seed, who was made to fight hard by Carballes Baena, the 2018 Quito champion. The Spaniard did well to neutralise Nishikori’s offence as best he could, taking any opening he could find to dictate play. But after saving the first eight break points he faced in the second set, Carballes Baena could not hold off Nishikori, who also made the 2016 final here.last_img read more

Deadly bombings rock Cairo on uprising anniversary eve

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first_imgby Jay DESHMUKH, Samer AL-ATRUSHCAIRO- A car bomb struck Cairo police headquarters on Friday, the first of four blasts in Egypt’s capital that killed six people on the eve of the anniversary of the 2011 uprising.The bombings, all targeting the police, came as street clashes between Islamist supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi and backers of the military killed eight people, a day before planned rallies to mark the revolt that drove Hosni Mubarak from power. CCTV footage filmed from a nearby building captured the first attack, when a white pick-up truck parked on a main street outside the security directorate exploded in cloud of thick smoke.Two police officers can be seen in the video inspecting the car before walking into the headquarters, moments before the explosion.Police, who had earlier blamed a suicide bomber, confirmed to AFP the authenticity of the CCTV footage aired by Egyptian media outlets.The blast, which badly damaged the facade of the building, left a large crater in the ground and sent a plume of smoke billowing over the city.Interior ministry spokesman Hany Abdel Latif said “the vehicle tried to get close to the building but was stopped at the gate. Casualties were relatively small given the size of the blast.”Friday is the Muslim day of prayer and rest, and so relatively few people were on the streets.The bombing also damaged the nearby Museum of Islamic Art, bringing down ceilings and damaging exhibits, culture minister Mohamed Ibrahim told AFP.Hours later, a small makeshift bomb exploded near a police vehicle close to a metro station in the neighbourhood of Dokki, killing a police conscript, security officials said.Two other bombs went off hours apart in a neighbourhood close to the Giza pyramids, one killing a person and wounding four conscripts near a cinema.The other struck outside a police station, without causing any casualties, police said.“They don’t want the people to celebrate” the January 25 anniversary, the interior minister, who is also named Mohamed Ibrahim, said of the assailants.The president’s office vowed to “avenge our martyrs”.“Whoever planned, participated, financed, or incited (the attack) will be punished with the worst form of punishment,” it said.Later, at least eight people were killed when Islamist protesters clashed with their civilian opponents and police in several cities, said security officials and state media.Deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of Morsi have become a weekly ritual since the former president’s overthrow.The pro-Morsi National Pro-Legitimacy Alliance condemned the bombing of the security headquarters but said it would go ahead with its “peaceful struggle against (the) coup”.The deadliest bombings since Morsi’s overthrow have been claimed by Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, a Qaeda-inspired group led by Bedouin militants in the Sinai Peninsula.“The first bombing… has Ansar Beit al-Maqdis’s name all over it,” said David Barnett, a researcher on militant groups in Egypt with the Foundation for the Defence of Democracies think-tank.“The latter three might be different actors trying to take advantage of the situation,” said Barnett, referring to the apparently amateurish devices used in the last three attacks.A witness who lives in an apartment about 200 metres (yards) away from the police headquarters said he had been awakened by the explosion.“My building shook,” Yahya Attiya said.Riot police pushed back hundreds of onlookers, some of whom chanted slogans against Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement.The Brotherhood had also denied involvement in previous bombings, but was blacklisted as a terrorist group after 15 people were killed when a suicide bomber blew up a vehicle at a police headquarters north of Cairo in December.Ansar Beit al-Maqdis claimed responsibility for that attack, but many blame the Brotherhood.“I can now call the Muslim Brotherhood the terrorist Brotherhood,” said Attiya, as he surveyed the wreckage outside the police headquarters.Scores of soldiers and police have been killed in the Sinai, and militants in the desert region have begun to expand their operations to densely populated areas along the Nile.On Thursday, masked assailants on motorbikes gunned down five policemen south of Cairo.There have also been bombings in Cairo, including a failed assassination attempt against the interior minister in September, weeks after policemen killed hundreds of Islamist demonstrators in clashes at a protest camp.More than 1,000 people, mostly Islamists, have been killed in street clashes since Morsi’s overthrow.Thousands more have been jailed, including the ousted president and other Brotherhood leaders.last_img read more

No 4 Ohio State mens basketball downs Walsh in exhibition game 8371

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The Ohio State basketball team is expected to blow out non-Division I teams, but In the Buckeyes’ Tuesday exhibition game meeting with Walsh, OSU was only 12 points better than the NCAA Division II foe. In their first competitive action since falling in the 2012 NCAA Tournament’s Final Four round, the Buckeyes, ranked No. 4 in the Associated Press preseason top 25 poll, continued prep work for the 2012-13 season with a 83-71 exhibition game win against the Cavaliers Tuesday at the Schottenstein Center. OSU returns three starters – junior forward Deshaun Thomas and junior guards Aaron Craft and Lenzelle Smith Jr. – from the 2011-12 team that finished with a 31-8 overall record on its way to a national semifinal appearance. That trio combined for 36 points in the game with Thomas leading the way with 25 points on 9-of-17 shooting. Craft said Walsh deserved credit for forcing a close result. “They came in and weren’t backing down. We’ve got a lot of things to learn, a long way to go,” Craft said. “The best thing about it is it’s still October.” OSU will compete in one additional closed-door exhibition game before opening the 2012-13 season at the Carrier Classic on the deck of the USS Yorktown against Marquette Nov. 9, in Charleston, S.C. The score was hardly of consequence in the game, though Walsh might have raised some eyebrows after leading OSU for most of the first half and then keeping the final score close as well. The first half was a period of experimentation for OSU coach Thad Matta. The Buckeyes used nine different combinations of players in the opening 20 minutes, and every scholarship player except junior guard Alex Rogers saw time. Perhaps due to the closer-than-expected outcome, Rogers never made it into the game, nor did walk-on sophomore forward Jake Lorbach. In what might have been a glimpse into the team’s future, Matta went with a towering starting lineup, choosing Thomas, Smith Jr., Craft, 6-foot-8 sophomore forward LaQuinton Ross, and 6-foot-11 sophomore center Amir Williams for the start. Thomas said part of the challenge against Walsh was adjusting to the personnel changes. “Coach (Matta), he said he was going to try different guys. That was going to be a test,” Thomas said. “It worked though. A couple players were off to the side by themselves and, you know, that’s what coach is trying to see. He just wants us to stand in a circle and, you know, (There were) a couple guys out of that circle today, but it was a test. Like Craft said, it’s October. We’re going to be a better basketball team.” Matta said the lineup changes may have stunted the Buckeyes’ abilities in the game and he expected that. “I knew going in I was going to start a different starting lineup,” Matta said. “(We were) throwing a lot of different guys in there, which I was OK with. I was OK that we didn’t play as well as we probably wanted to play.” Despite trailing in the early stages of the contest, OSU took the lead for good at the 2:10 mark in the period when Thomas spun to the rack and laid the ball in as he was fouled. The score and the free throw to follow put the Buckeyes up, 29-27. OSU scrambled on the final possession of the half before Craft heaved a last-second 3-pointer to send the Buckeyes into break with a 39-30 lead. Despite the lead, OSU was out-rebounded in the half, 20-13. The Cavaliers didn’t go away quietly in the second half. Walsh senior forward Kenny Kornowski kept his NCAA Division II team in contention with 12 points in the game on 6-of-15 shooting from the floor. Walsh sophomore forward Jeff Copeland also aided in keeping the Cavaliers competitive as he scored 16 points on 6-of-9 shooting for the visitors. OSU was visibly frustrated in the second half – players clapped in frustration after missed baskets. The team’s anticipated fast-tempo offense was more than Walsh could cope with, though. During OSU’s Oct. 11 media day, players and coaches spoke of the fast-tempo offense and they backed up that talk in the second half against the Cavaliers. The fast-paced offense gave the Buckeyes the points they needed to hold off a Walsh rally. OSU rotated the same 10 players in and out of the game, and closed out the win by the 12-point margin. “It’s frustrating any time you’re losing in a game,” Craft said. “It’s something that you need to experience and you can’t really teach how to play through that, so, facing adversity and facing when things kind of aren’t going your way, that’s something we’re going to have to deal with throughout the year. It’s already hit us. We already have a little taste.” read more

Ohio State mens basketball hoping to extend win streak against Penn State

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The road hasn’t been too kind to the Ohio State men’s basketball team this season. Of the Buckeyes’ four losses on the year, three (Duke, Illinois, Michigan State) have come outside of the friendly confines of the Schottenstein Center. OSU (14-4, 4-2 Big Ten) is set to play an away game Saturday, but they shouldn’t have too much trouble notching a win. The team the Buckeyes are traveling roughly five hours to play is the conference’s worst club: Penn State. The Nittany Lions (8-11, 0-7) are the Big Ten’s only winless team in conference play. Their leading scorer, senior point guard Tim Fraizer, is out for the year with an injury after playing in just four games. PSU has struggled heavily to score the ball, as the Nittany Lions rank near the bottom of the country in nearly all offensive team statistics. Still searching for a team identity, as senior forward Evan Ravenel said, the Buckeyes are looking to start a win streak after defeating Iowa Tuesday night in Columbus, 72-63. If history is any proof, OSU shouldn’t have too much trouble doing that Saturday. The Buckeyes have won 17 straight games against PSU and have been victorious in the last six meetings that took place in State College, Pa. “I don’t know what it is. I do like the way we’ve come out of there in the times we’ve gone, though,” OSU coach Thad Matta said, speaking about his team’s previous treks to play the Nittany Lions on the road. Matta said has been sure to point out to his team that PSU has shown the capability in the past to knock off a ranked opponent, though. “He doesn’t want it to be us,” Ravenel said. The Buckeyes played like they were ready to go in practice this week, according to Matta. “If you don’t come to practice ready to play, you’re going to look really bad. I think guys have caught on to that,” Matta said. OSU’s leading scorer, Deshaun Thomas, will be coming off an injury Saturday. The junior forward gashed the area above his right eye in the contest against the Hawkeyes Tuesday and received six stitches. Thomas has been playing in the Big Ten for two-plus years, but the battle scar was the first he’s gotten. “In high school people barely touched me. Now, the Big Ten is physical,” Thomas said. OSU and PSU are set to tip-off at noon Saturday. read more