Sept. 15, 2023 — On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Improving Protections for Workers in Temporary Agricultural Employment in the United States.
The Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association BB #:153753 issued the following statement in response to the proposed rule:
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is acting in place of Congress and circumventing U.S. Supreme Court decisions to create regulations which, in part, coerce farmers to give up private property rights in the name of worker protections. It’s clear the DOL has overstepped its authority.
The DOL’s proposed rule becomes the third proposed or final regulation tied to the H-2A program in the last year alone and comes on top of numerous regulations from other agencies. In light of congressional inaction, this trend of aggressive administrative rulemaking is exhausting the limited resources of U.S. growers and threatening the sustainability of an industry that helps feed, clothe and fuel the nation.
We urge Congress to provide greater administrative oversight and enact much-needed, broader agricultural labor reforms, and ask that the DOL seriously consider the industry’s concerns as the rulemaking process continues.