e-CFR banner

Home
gpo.gov
govinfo.gov

e-CFR Navigation Aids

Browse

Simple Search

Advanced Search

 — Boolean

 — Proximity

 

Search History

Search Tips

Corrections

Latest Updates

User Info

FAQs

Agency List

Incorporation By Reference

eCFR logo

Related Resources

 

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of May 28, 2020

Title 29Subtitle BChapter VSubchapter APart 503 → Subpart A


Title 29: Labor
PART 503—ENFORCEMENT OF OBLIGATIONS FOR TEMPORARY NONIMMIGRANT NON-AGRICULTURAL WORKERS DESCRIBED IN THE IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY ACT


Subpart A—General Provisions


Contents
§503.0   Introduction.
§503.1   Scope and purpose.
§503.2   Territory of Guam.
§503.3   Coordination among Governmental agencies.
§503.4   Definition of terms.
§503.5   Temporary need.
§503.6   Waiver of rights prohibited.
§503.7   Investigation authority of Secretary.
§503.8   Accuracy of information, statements, data.

§503.0   Introduction.

The regulations in this part cover the enforcement of all statutory and regulatory obligations, including requirements under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), section 214(c) of the INA and 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, applicable to the employment of H-2B workers in nonimmigrant status under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b) of the INA, and workers in corresponding employment, including obligations to offer employment to eligible United States (U.S.) workers and to not lay off or displace U.S. workers in a manner prohibited by the regulations in this part or 20 CFR part 655, subpart A.

§503.1   Scope and purpose.

(a) Consultation standard. Section 214(c)(1) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(1), requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to consult with appropriate agencies before authorizing the classification of aliens as H-2B workers. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iii)(D) recognize the Secretary of Labor as the appropriate authority with whom DHS consults regarding the H-2B program, and recognize the Secretary of Labor's authority in carrying out the Secretary of Labor's consultative function to issue regulations regarding the issuance of temporary labor certifications. DHS regulations at 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(iv) provide that an employer's petition to employ nonimmigrant workers on H-2B visas for temporary non-agricultural employment in the United States (U.S.), except for Guam, must be accompanied by an approved temporary labor certification from the Secretary of Labor. The temporary labor certification reflects a determination by the Secretary that:

(1) There are not sufficient U.S. workers who are qualified and who will be available to perform the temporary services or labor for which an employer desires to hire foreign workers; and

(2) The employment of the foreign worker will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

(b) Role of the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). The issuance and denial of labor certifications for purposes of satisfying the consultation requirement in 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c), has been delegated by the Secretary to ETA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), which in turn has delegated that authority to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC). In general, matters concerning the obligations of an H-2B employer related to the temporary labor certification process are administered by OFLC, including obligations and assurances made by employers, overseeing employer recruitment, and assuring program integrity. The regulations pertaining to the issuance, denial, and revocation of labor certification for temporary foreign workers by the OFLC are found in 20 CFR part 655, subpart A.

(c) Role of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Effective January 18, 2009, DHS has delegated to the Secretary under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(14)(B), section 214(c)(14)(B) of the INA, certain investigatory and law enforcement functions to carry out the provisions under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c). The Secretary has delegated these functions to the WHD. In general, matters concerning the rights of H-2B workers and workers in corresponding employment under this part and the employer's obligations are enforced by the WHD, including whether employment was offered to U.S. workers as required under 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, or whether U.S. workers were laid off or displaced in violation of program requirements. The WHD has the responsibility to carry out investigations, inspections, and law enforcement functions and in appropriate instances to impose penalties, to debar from future certifications, to recommend revocation of existing certifications, and to seek remedies for violations, including recovery of unpaid wages and reinstatement of improperly laid off or displaced U.S. workers.

(d) Effect of regulations. The enforcement functions carried out by the WHD under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c), 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, and the regulations in this part apply to the employment of any H-2B worker and any worker in corresponding employment as the result of an Application for Temporary Employment Certification filed with the Department of Labor on or after April 29, 2015.

§503.2   Territory of Guam.

This part does not apply to temporary employment in the Territory of Guam. The Department of Labor does not certify to DHS the temporary employment of nonimmigrant foreign workers or enforce compliance with the provisions of the H-2B visa program in the Territory of Guam.

§503.3   Coordination among Governmental agencies.

(a) Complaints received by ETA or any State Workforce Agency (SWA) regarding noncompliance with H-2B statutory or regulatory labor standards will be immediately forwarded to the appropriate WHD office for suitable action under the regulations in this part.

(b) Information received in the course of processing registrations and applications, program integrity measures, or enforcement actions may be shared between OFLC and WHD or, where applicable to employer enforcement under the H-2B program, may be forwarded to other agencies as appropriate, including the Department of State (DOS) and DHS.

(c) A specific violation for which debarment is sought will be cited in a single debarment proceeding. OFLC and the WHD will coordinate their activities to achieve this result. Copies of final debarment decisions will be forwarded to DHS promptly.

§503.4   Definition of terms.

For purposes of this part:

Act means the Immigration and Nationality Act or INA, as amended, 8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) means a person within the Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges appointed under 5 U.S.C. 3105.

Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) means the primary official of the Office of Foreign Labor Certification, ETA, or the Administrator's designee.

Administrator, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) means the primary official of the WHD, or the Administrator's designee.

Agent means:

(1) A legal entity or person who:

(i) Is authorized to act on behalf of an employer for temporary nonagricultural labor certification purposes;

(ii) Is not itself an employer, or a joint employer, as defined in this part with respect to a specific application; and

(iii) Is not an association or other organization of employers.

(2) No agent who is under suspension, debarment, expulsion, disbarment, or otherwise restricted from practice before any court, the Department of Labor, the Executive Office for Immigration Review under 8 CFR 1003.101, or DHS under 8 CFR 292.3 may represent an employer under this part.

Agricultural labor or services means those duties and occupations defined in 20 CFR part 655, subpart B.

Applicant means a U.S. worker who is applying for a job opportunity for which an employer has filed an Application for Temporary Employment Certification (ETA Form 9142B and the appropriate appendices).

Application for Temporary Employment Certification means the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)-approved ETA Form 9142B and the appropriate appendices, a valid wage determination, as required by 20 CFR 655.10, and a subsequently-filed U.S. worker recruitment report, submitted by an employer to secure a temporary labor certification determination from DOL.

Area of intended employment means the geographic area within normal commuting distance of the place (worksite address) of the job opportunity for which the certification is sought. There is no rigid measure of distance that constitutes a normal commuting distance or normal commuting area, because there may be widely varying factual circumstances among different areas (e.g., average commuting times, barriers to reaching the worksite, or quality of the regional transportation network). If the place of intended employment is within a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), including a multistate MSA, any place within the MSA is deemed to be within normal commuting distance of the place of intended employment. The borders of MSAs are not controlling in the identification of the normal commuting area; a location outside of an MSA may be within normal commuting distance of a location that is inside (e.g., near the border of) the MSA.

Attorney means any person who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any State, possession, territory, or commonwealth of the U.S., or the District of Columbia. No attorney who is under suspension, debarment, expulsion, disbarment, or otherwise restricted from practice before any court, the Department of Labor, the Executive Office for Immigration Review under 8 CFR 1003.101, or DHS under 8 CFR 292.3 may represent an employer under this part.

Certifying Officer (CO) means an OFLC official designated by the Administrator, OFLC to make determinations on applications under the H-2B program. The Administrator, OFLC is the National CO. Other COs may also be designated by the Administrator, OFLC to make the determinations required under 20 CFR part 655, subpart A.

Chief Administrative Law Judge (Chief ALJ) means the chief official of the Department's Office of Administrative Law Judges or the Chief Administrative Law Judge's designee.

Corresponding employment means:

(1) The employment of workers who are not H-2B workers by an employer that has a certified H-2B Application for Temporary Employment Certification when those workers are performing either substantially the same work included in the job order or substantially the same work performed by the H-2B workers, except that workers in the following two categories are not included in corresponding employment:

(i) Incumbent employees continuously employed by the H-2B employer to perform substantially the same work included in the job order or substantially the same work performed by the H-2B workers during the 52 weeks prior to the period of employment certified on the Application for Temporary Employment Certification and who have worked or been paid for at least 35 hours in at least 48 of the prior 52 workweeks, and who have worked or been paid for an average of at least 35 hours per week over the prior 52 weeks, as demonstrated on the employer's payroll records, provided that the terms and working conditions of their employment are not substantially reduced during the period of employment covered by the job order. In determining whether this standard was met, the employer may take credit for any hours that were reduced by the employee voluntarily choosing not to work due to personal reasons such as illness or vacation; or

(ii) Incumbent employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement or an individual employment contract that guarantees both an offer of at least 35 hours of work each workweek and continued employment with the H-2B employer at least through the period of employment covered by the job order, except that the employee may be dismissed for cause.

(2) To qualify as corresponding employment, the work must be performed during the period of the job order, including any approved extension thereof.

Date of need means the first date the employer requires services of the H-2B workers as listed on the Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) means the Federal Department having jurisdiction over certain immigration-related functions, acting through its component agencies, including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Employee means a person who is engaged to perform work for an employer, as defined under the general common law. Some of the factors relevant to the determination of employee status include: The hiring party's right to control the manner and means by which the work is accomplished; the skill required to perform the work; the source of the instrumentalities and tools for accomplishing the work; the location of the work; the hiring party's discretion over when and how long to work; and whether the work is part of the regular business of the hiring party. Other applicable factors may be considered and no one factor is dispositive. The terms employee and worker are used interchangeably in this part.

Employer means a person (including any individual, partnership, association, corporation, cooperative, firm, joint stock company, trust, or other organization with legal rights and duties) that:

(1) Has a place of business (physical location) in the U.S. and a means by which it may be contacted for employment;

(2) Has an employer relationship (such as the ability to hire, pay, fire, supervise or otherwise control the work of employees) with respect to an H-2B worker or a worker in corresponding employment; and

(3) Possesses, for purposes of filing an Application for Temporary Employment Certification, a valid Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).

Employment and Training Administration (ETA) means the agency within the Department of Labor that includes OFLC and has been delegated authority by the Secretary to fulfill the Secretary's mandate under the DHS regulations for the administration and adjudication of an Application for Temporary Employment Certification and related functions.

Federal holiday means a legal public holiday as defined at 5 U.S.C. 6103.

Full-time means 35 or more hours of work per week.

H-2B Petition means the DHS Form I-129 Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker, with H Supplement, or successor form or supplement, and accompanying documentation required by DHS for employers seeking to employ foreign persons as H-2B nonimmigrant workers.

H-2B Registration means the OMB-approved ETA Form 9155, submitted by an employer to register its intent to hire H-2B workers and to file an Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

H-2B worker means any temporary foreign worker who is lawfully present in the U.S. and authorized by DHS to perform nonagricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature under 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b), INA section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b).

Job contractor means a person, association, firm, or a corporation that meets the definition of an employer and that contracts services or labor on a temporary basis to one or more employers, which is not an affiliate, branch or subsidiary of the job contractor and where the job contractor will not exercise substantial, direct day-to-day supervision and control in the performance of the services or labor to be performed other than hiring, paying and firing the workers.

Job offer means the offer made by an employer or potential employer of H-2B workers to both U.S. and H-2B workers describing all the material terms and conditions of employment, including those relating to wages, working conditions, and other benefits.

Job opportunity means one or more openings for full-time employment with the petitioning employer within a specified area(s) of intended employment for which the petitioning employer is seeking workers.

Job order means the document containing the material terms and conditions of employment relating to wages, hours, working conditions, worksite and other benefits, including obligations and assurances under 29 CFR part 655, subpart A and this subpart that is posted between and among the SWAs on their job clearance systems.

Joint employment means that where two or more employers each have sufficient definitional indicia of being an employer to be considered the employer of a worker, those employers will be considered to jointly employ that worker. Each employer in a joint employment relationship to a worker is considered a joint employer of that worker.

Layoff means any involuntary separation of one or more U.S. employees without cause.

Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) means a geographic entity defined by OMB for use by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics. A metro area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population, and a micro area contains an urban core of at least 10,000 (but fewer than 50,000) population. Each metro or micro area consists of one or more counties and includes the counties containing the core urban area, as well as any adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration (as measured by commuting to work) with the urban core.

National Processing Center (NPC) means the office within OFLC which is charged with the adjudication of an Application for Temporary Employment Certification or other applications.

Non-agricultural labor and services means any labor or services not considered to be agricultural labor or services as defined in 20 CFR part 655, subpart B. It does not include the provision of services as members of the medical profession by graduates of medical schools.

Offered wage means the wage offered by an employer in an H-2B job order. The offered wage must equal or exceed the highest of the prevailing wage or Federal, State or local minimum wage.

Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) means the organizational component of the ETA that provides national leadership and policy guidance and develops regulations to carry out the Secretary's responsibilities, including determinations related to an employer's request for H-2B Registration, Application for Prevailing Wage Determination, or Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

Prevailing wage determination (PWD) means the prevailing wage for the position, as described in 20 CFR 655.10, that is the subject of the Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

Secretary means the Secretary of Labor, the chief official of the U.S. Department of Labor, or the Secretary's designee.

Secretary of Homeland Security means the chief official of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or the Secretary of Homeland Security's designee.

State Workforce Agency (SWA) means a State government agency that receives funds under the Wagner-Peyser Act (29 U.S.C. 49 et seq.) to administer the State's public labor exchange activities.

Strike means a concerted stoppage of work by employees as a result of a labor dispute, or any concerted slowdown or other concerted interruption of operation (including stoppage by reason of the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement).

Successor in interest means:

(1) Where an employer has violated 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, or this part, and has ceased doing business or cannot be located for purposes of enforcement, a successor in interest to that employer may be held liable for the duties and obligations of the violating employer in certain circumstances. The following factors, as used under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, may be considered in determining whether an employer is a successor in interest; no one factor is dispositive, but all of the circumstances will be considered as a whole:

(i) Substantial continuity of the same business operations;

(ii) Use of the same facilities;

(iii) Continuity of the work force;

(iv) Similarity of jobs and working conditions;

(v) Similarity of supervisory personnel;

(vi) Whether the former management or owner retains a direct or indirect interest in the new enterprise;

(vii) Similarity in machinery, equipment, and production methods;

(viii) Similarity of products and services; and

(ix) The ability of the predecessor to provide relief.

(2) For purposes of debarment only, the primary consideration will be the personal involvement of the firm's ownership, management, supervisors, and others associated with the firm in the violation(s) at issue.

United States (U.S.) means the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) means the Federal agency within DHS that makes the determination under the INA whether to grant petitions filed by employers seeking H-2B workers to perform temporary non-agricultural work in the U.S.

United States worker (U.S. worker) means a worker who is:

(1) A citizen or national of the U.S.;

(2) An alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S., is admitted as a refugee under 8 U.S.C. 1157, section 207 of the INA, is granted asylum under 8 U.S.C. 1158, section 208 of the INA, or is an alien otherwise authorized under the immigration laws to be employed in the U.S.; or

(3) An individual who is not an unauthorized alien (as defined in 8 U.S.C. 1324a(h)(3), section 274a(h)(3) of the INA) with respect to the employment in which the worker is engaging.

Wage and Hour Division (WHD) means the agency within the Department of Labor with investigatory and law enforcement authority, as delegated from DHS, to carry out the provisions under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), section 214(c) of the INA.

Wages mean all forms of cash remuneration to a worker by an employer in payment for personal services.

§503.5   Temporary need.

(a) An employer seeking certification under 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, must establish that its need for non-agricultural services or labor is temporary, regardless of whether the underlying job is permanent or temporary.

(b) The employer's need is considered temporary if justified to the CO as one of the following: A one-time occurrence; a seasonal need; a peakload need; or an intermittent need, as defined by DHS regulations.

§503.6   Waiver of rights prohibited.

A person may not seek to have an H-2B worker, a worker in corresponding employment, or any other person, including but not limited to a U.S. worker improperly rejected for employment or improperly laid off or displaced, waive or modify any rights conferred under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c), 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, or the regulations in this part. Any agreement by an employee purporting to waive or modify any rights given to said person under these provisions will be void as contrary to public policy except as follows:

(a) Waivers or modifications of rights or obligations hereunder in favor of the Secretary will be valid for purposes of enforcement; and

(b) Agreements in settlement of private litigation are permitted.

§503.7   Investigation authority of Secretary.

(a) Authority of the Administrator, WHD. The Secretary of Homeland Security has delegated to the Secretary, under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c)(14)(B), INA section 214(c)(14)(B), authority to perform investigative and enforcement functions. Within the Department of Labor, the Administrator, WHD will perform all such functions.

(b) Conduct of investigations. The Secretary, through the WHD, may investigate to determine compliance with obligations under 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c), 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, or the regulations in this part, either under a complaint or otherwise, as may be appropriate. In connection with such an investigation, WHD may enter and inspect any premises, land, property, worksite, vehicles, structure, facility, place and records (and make transcriptions, photographs, scans, videos, photocopies, or use any other means to record the content of the records or preserve images of places or objects), question any person, or gather any information, in whatever form, as may be appropriate.

(c) Confidential investigation. The WHD will conduct investigations in a manner that protects the confidentiality of any complainant or other person who provides information to the Secretary in good faith.

(d) Report of violations. Any person may report a violation of the obligations imposed by 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c), 20 CFR part 655, subpart A, or the regulations in this part to the Secretary by advising any local office of the SWA, ETA, WHD or any other authorized representative of the Secretary. The office or person receiving such a report will refer it to the appropriate office of WHD for the geographic area in which the reported violation is alleged to have occurred.

§503.8   Accuracy of information, statements, data.

Information, statements, and data submitted in compliance with 8 U.S.C. 1184(c), INA section 214(c), or the regulations in this part are subject to 18 U.S.C. 1001, which provides, with regard to statements or entries generally, that whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the U.S., knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up a material fact by any trick, scheme, or device, or makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or representations, or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, will be fined not more than $250,000 or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

Need assistance?