The White House H-2B Worker Protection Taskforce report, released Oct. 19, announced new efforts to strengthen protections for workers in the H-2B program who are vulnerable to exploitation by their employers.
The report by the interagency task force cites more than a dozen action items to be taken across the federal government to advance protections for H-2B and, in select cases, H-2A workers. Partnering with the White House, Department of Homeland Security, Department of State and US Agency for International Development, the Department of Labor will:
- Reduce workers’ vulnerability to exploitation from labor recruiters and employers by using enhanced information collection from other agencies, making it easier to prevent and enforce against exploitation by recruiters.
- Empower workers by identifying and developing resources designed to provide workers with information about their rights under H-2 programs and disseminating information widely, including through MigrantWorker.gov and through additional task force agency channels.
- Leverage existing data to increase transparency and reduce the vulnerability of H-2 workers through interagency data sharing, which will improve outreach and streamline responses to labor law violations.
- Participate in a new interagency H-2 Worker Protection Working Group to guide the implementation of deliverables described in the task force report.
“The H-2B program has been plagued by worker exploitation for too long,” said Acting Secretary of Labor Julie Su. “The Biden-Harris administration is committed to protecting H2-B workers from abuse, and with this report, we’re taking a whole-of-government approach to protecting these vulnerable workers, which will also help ensure they are not used to undercut labor standards for domestic workers. We look forward to working with our sister agencies across the federal government to implement these recommendations and work towards better protecting every worker in America.”
The full report is available online.