20 CFR § 655.64 - Special application filing and eligibility provisions for Fiscal Year 2021 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

§ 655.64 Special application filing and eligibility provisions for Fiscal Year 2021 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.

(a) An employer filing a petition with USCIS under 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x) to request H-2B workers who will begin employment on or after May 25, 2021, through September 30, 2021, must meet the following requirements:

(1) The employer must attest on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-4 that without the ability to employ all of the H-2B workers requested on the petition filed pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x), its business is likely to suffer irreparable harm (that is, permanent and severe financial loss), and that the employer will provide documentary evidence of this fact to DHS or DOL upon request.

(2) The employer must attest on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-4 that each of the workers requested and/or instructed to apply for a visa, whether named or unnamed, on a petition filed pursuant to 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x), have been issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during one of the last three (3) fiscal years (fiscal year 2018, 2019, or 2020), unless the H-2B worker is a national of Guatemala, El Salvador, or Honduras and is counted towards the 6,000 cap described in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x)(A)(2).

(3) The employer must attest on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-4 that the employer will comply with all the assurances, obligations, and conditions of employment set forth on its approved Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

(4) The employer must attest on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-4 that it will comply with all Federal, State, and local employment-related laws and regulations, including health and safety laws and laws related to COVID-19 worker protections, any right to time off or paid time off for COVID-19 vaccination, and that the employer will notify any H-2B workers approved under the supplemental cap in 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x)(A)(1) and (2), in a language understood by the worker, as necessary or reasonable, that all persons in the United States, including nonimmigrants, have equal access to COVID-19 vaccines and vaccine distribution sites.

(5) An employer that submits Form ETA-9142B-CAA-4 and the I-129 petition 45 or more days after the certified start date of work, as shown on its approved Application for Temporary Employment, must conduct additional recruitment of U.S. workers as follows:

(i) Not later than the next business day after submitting the I-129 petition for H-2B worker(s), the employer must place a new job order for the job opportunity with the State Workforce Agency (SWA), serving the area of intended employment. The employer must follow all applicable SWA instructions for posting job orders and receive applications in all forms allowed by the SWA, including online applications (sometimes known as “self-referrals”). The job order must contain the job assurances and contents set forth in § 655.18 for recruitment of U.S. workers at the place of employment, and remain posted for at least 15 calendar days;

(ii) During the period of time the SWA is actively circulating the job order described in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section for intrastate clearance, the employer must contact, by email or other available electronic means, the nearest comprehensive American Job Center offering business services and serving the area of intended employment where work will commence, request staff assistance advertising and recruiting qualified U.S. workers for the job opportunity, and provide the unique identification number associated with the job order placed with the SWA or, if unavailable, a copy of the job order;

(iii) During the period of time the SWA is actively circulating the job order described in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section for intrastate clearance, the employer must contact (by mail or other effective means) its former U.S. workers, including those who have been furloughed or laid off, during the period beginning January 1, 2019, until the date the I-129 petition required under 8 CFR 214.2(h)(6)(x) is submitted, who were employed by the employer in the occupation at the place of employment (except those who were dismissed for cause or who abandoned the worksite), disclose the terms of the job order, and solicit their return to the job. The contact and disclosures required by this paragraph (a)(5)(iii) must be provided in a language understood by the worker, as necessary or reasonable;

(iv) During the period of time the SWA is actively circulating the job order described in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section for intrastate clearance, the employer must engage in the recruitment of U.S. workers as provided in § 655.45(a) and (b). The contact and disclosures required by this paragraph (a)(5)(iv) must be provided in a language understood by the worker, as necessary or reasonable; and

(v) The employer must hire any qualified U.S. worker who applies or is referred for the job opportunity until the date on which the last H-2B worker departs for the place of employment, or 30 days after the last date on which the SWA job order is posted, whichever is later. Consistent with § 655.40(a), applicants can be rejected only for lawful job-related reasons.

(6) The employer must attest on Form ETA-9142-B-CAA-4 that it will fully cooperate with any audit, investigation, compliance review, evaluation, verification, or inspection conducted by DOL, including an on-site inspection of the employer's facilities, interview of the employer's employees and any other individuals possessing pertinent information, and review of the employer's records related to the compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including but not limited to evidence pertaining to or supporting the eligibility criteria for the FY 2021 supplemental allocations outlined in this paragraph (a) and § 655.68(a), as a condition for the approval of the H-2B petition. Pursuant to this subpart and 29 CFR 503.25, the employer will not impede, interfere, or refuse to cooperate with an employee of the Secretary who is exercising or attempting to exercise DOL's audit or investigative authority.

(b) This section expires on October 1, 2021.

(c) The requirements under paragraph (a) of this section are intended to be non-severable from the remainder of this section; in the event that paragraph (a)(1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) of this section is enjoined or held to be invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the remainder of this section is also intended to be enjoined or held to be invalid in such jurisdiction, without prejudice to workers already present in the United States under this part, as consistent with law.

[86 FR 28232, May 25, 2021]
Effective Date Note:
At 86 FR 28232, May 25, 2021, § 655.64 was added, effective May 25, 2021, until Sept. 30, 2021.

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