Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of Aliens in Agriculture in the United States: 2013 Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals and Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, Including Lodging, 15741-15742 [2013-05580]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Notices Among the minimum benefits and working conditions that the Department requires employers to offer their U.S. and H–2A workers are three meals a day or free and convenient cooking and kitchen facilities. 20 CFR 655.122(g). Where the employer provides the meals, the job offer must state the charge, if any, to the worker for such meals. Id. The Department provides, at 20 CFR 655.173(a), the methodology for determining the maximum amounts that H–2A agricultural employers may charge their U.S. and foreign workers for providing them with three meals per day during employment. This methodology provides for annual adjustments of the previous year’s maximum allowable charge based upon updated Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. The maximum charge allowed by 20 CFR 655.122(g) is adjusted by the same percentage as the 12-month percent change in the CPI for all Urban Consumers for Food (CPI–U for Food) 1. The OFLC Certifying Officer may also permit an employer to charge workers a higher amount for providing them with three meals a day, if the higher amount is justified and sufficiently documented by the employer, as set forth in 20 CFR 655.173(b). The Department has determined that the percentage change between December of 2011 and December of 2012 for the CPI–U for Food was 2.6 percent. Accordingly, the maximum allowable charge under 20 CFR 655.122(g) shall be no more than $11.42 per day, unless the OFLC Certifying Officer approves a higher charge as authorized under 20 CFR 655.173(b). Reimbursement for Daily Travel Subsistence The regulations at 20 CFR 655.122(h) establish that the minimum daily travel subsistence expense for meals, for which a worker is entitled to reimbursement, must be at least as much as the employer would charge for providing the worker with three meals a day during employment (if applicable), but in no event less than the amount permitted under § 655.173(a), i.e. the charge annually adjusted by the 12-month percentage change in CPI for all Urban Consumers for food. The regulation is silent about the maximum amount to which a qualifying worker is entitled. The Department bases the maximum meals component of the daily travel subsistence expense on the standard minimum Continental United States (CONUS) per diem rate as established by the General Services Administration (GSA) at 41 CFR part 301, formerly published in Appendix A, and now found at www.gsa.gov/perdiem. The CONUS minimum meals component remains $46.00 per day for 2013.2 Workers who qualify for travel reimbursement are entitled to reimbursement for meals up to the CONUS meal rate when they provide receipts. In determining the appropriate amount of reimbursement for meals for less than a full day, the employer may provide for meal expense reimbursement, with receipts, to 75 percent of the maximum reimbursement for meals of $34.50, as provided for in the GSA per diem schedule. If a worker has no receipts, the employer is not obligated to reimburse above the minimum stated at 20 CFR 655.173(a) as specified above. The term ‘‘subsistence’’ includes both meals and lodging during travel to and from the worksite. Therefore, an employer is responsible for providing, paying in advance, or reimbursing a worker for the reasonable costs of transportation and daily subsistence between the employer’s worksite and the place from which the worker comes to work for the employer, if the worker completes 50 percent of the work contract period, and upon the worker completing the contract, return costs. In those instances where a worker must travel to obtain a visa so that the worker may enter the U.S. to come to work for the employer, the employer must pay for the transportation and daily subsistence costs of that part of the travel as well. 1 Consumer Price Index—December 2012, published January 16, 2013 at http://data.bls.gov/ pdq/SurveyOutputServlet 2 Maximum Per Diem Rates for the Continental United States (CONUS), 77 FR 54578 (Sept. 5, 2012); see also www.gsa.gov/perdiem. Dated: March 5, 2013. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. of Homeland Security will not approve an employer’s petition for the admission of H–2A nonimmigrant temporary agricultural workers in the U.S. unless the petitioner has received from the Department an H–2A labor certification. The H–2A labor certification provides that: (1) there are not sufficient U.S. workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed to perform the labor or services involved in the petition; and (2) the employment of the foreign worker(s) in such labor or services will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of workers in the U.S. similarly employed. 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a), 1184(c)(1), and 1188(a); 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5). [FR Doc. 2013–05581 Filed 3–11–13; 8:45 am] Allowable Meal Charge e.g., permitting electronic submission of responses. Agency: DOL–ETA. Title of Collection: Occupational Code Assignment. OMB Control Number: 1205–0137. Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 14. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 14. Total Estimated Annual Burden Hours: 7. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0. BILLING CODE 4510–FN–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Employment and Training Administration Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of Aliens in Agriculture in the United States: 2013 Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers’ Meals and Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, Including Lodging Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor. ACTION: Notice. AGENCY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this Notice to announce (1) the allowable charges for 2013 that employers seeking H–2A workers may charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and (2) the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker with receipts may claim in 2013. The Notice also includes a reminder regarding employers’ obligations with respect to overnight lodging costs as part of required subsistence. DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective on March 12, 2013. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William L. Carlson, Ph.D., Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), U.S. Department of Labor, Room C–4312, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: 202–693–3010 (this is not a toll-free number). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States (U.S.) Citizenship and Immigration Services of the Department mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:21 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 15741 PO 00000 Frm 00062 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\12MRN1.SGM 12MRN1 15742 Federal Register / Vol. 78, No. 48 / Tuesday, March 12, 2013 / Notices The Department interprets the regulation to require the employer to assume responsibility for the reasonable costs associated with the worker’s travel, including transportation, food, and, in those instances where it is necessary, lodging. The minimum and maximum daily travel meal reimbursement amounts are established above. If transportation and lodging are not provided by the employer, the amount an employer must pay for transportation and, where required, lodging, must be no less than (and is not required to be more than) the most economical and reasonable costs. The employer is responsible for those costs necessary for the worker to travel to the worksite if the worker completes 50 percent of the work contract period, but is not responsible for unauthorized detours, and if the worker completes the contract, return transportation and subsistence costs, including lodging costs where necessary. This policy applies equally to instances where the worker is traveling within the U.S. to the employer’s worksite. For further information on when the employer is responsible for lodging costs, please see the Department’s H–2A Frequently Asked Questions on Travel and Daily Subsistence, which may found on the OFLC Web site: http:// www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/. Signed in Washington, DC on this 27th day of February, 2013. Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration. [FR Doc. 2013–05580 Filed 3–11–13; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–FP–P DEPARTMENT OF LABOR Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation Proposed Extension of Existing Collection; Comment Request ACTION: Notice. The Department of Labor, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested mstockstill on DSK4VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Mar<15>2010 17:21 Mar 11, 2013 Jkt 229001 data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs is soliciting comments concerning the proposed collection: Claim for Compensation by Dependents Information Reports (CA–5, CA–5b, CA– 1031, CA–1074, Letter of Compensation Due at Death and Letter of Student/ Dependency). A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this Notice. DATES: Written comments must be submitted to the office listed in the addresses section below on or before May 13, 2013. ADDRESSES: Ms. Yoon Ferguson, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Ave. NW., Room S–3233, Washington, DC 20210, telephone (202) 693–0701, fax (202) 693–1447, Email Ferguson.Yoon@dol.gov. Please use only one method of transmission for comments (mail, fax, or Email). SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Background The forms included in this package are forms used by Federal employees and their dependents to claim benefits, to prove continued eligibility for benefits, to show entitlement to remaining compensation payments of a deceased employee and to show dependency under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. There are six forms in this information collection request. The information collected by Forms CA–5, is used by dependents for claiming compensation for the work related death of a Federal Employee and CA–5b is used by other survivors. Form CA–1031 is used in disability cases and provides information to determine whether a claimant is actually supporting a dependent and is entitled to additional compensation. Form CA–1074 is a follow up to CA–5b to request clarification of any information that is unclear and incomplete in the CA–5b. The letter of ‘‘Compensation Due at Death’’ is used to request information necessary to distribute compensation due when an employee dies who was receiving or who was entitled to compensation at the time of death for either disability benefits or a scheduled award. The letter of ‘‘Student/ PO 00000 Frm 00063 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Dependency’’ is used to obtain information regarding the student status of a dependent. When a child reaches 18 years of age, they are no longer considered an eligible dependent unless they are a full time student or incapable of self-support. This information collection is currently approved for use through July 31, 2013. II. Review Focus The Department of Labor is particularly interested in comments which: * Evaluate whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the agency, including whether the information will have practical utility; * Evaluate the accuracy of the agency’s estimate of the burden of the proposed collection of information, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used; * Enhance the quality, utility and clarity of the information to be collected; and * Minimize the burden of the collection of information on those who are to respond, including through the use of appropriate automated, electronic, mechanical, or other technological collection techniques or other forms of information technology, e.g., permitting electronic submissions of responses. III. Current Actions The Department of Labor seeks extension of approval to collect this information in order to carry out its responsibility to meet the statutory requirements of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act. The information contained in these forms is used by the Division of Federal Employees’ Compensation to determine entitlement to benefits under the Act, to verify dependent status, and to initiate, continue, adjust, or terminate benefits based on eligibility criteria. Type of Review: Extension. Agency: Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs. Title: Claim for Compensation by Dependents Information Reports. OMB Number: 1240–0013. Agency Number: CA–5, CA–5b, CA– 1031, CA–1074, Letter of Compensation Due at Death and Letter of Student/ Dependency. Affected Public: Individuals or households. Total Respondents: 2,920. Total Responses: 2,920. E:\FR\FM\12MRN1.SGM 12MRN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 48 (Tuesday, March 12, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15741-15742]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05580]


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Employment and Training Administration


Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of 
Aliens in Agriculture in the United States: 2013 Allowable Charges for 
Agricultural Workers' Meals and Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, 
Including Lodging

AGENCY: Employment and Training Administration, Department of Labor.

ACTION: Notice.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) of the 
Department of Labor (Department) is issuing this Notice to announce (1) 
the allowable charges for 2013 that employers seeking H-2A workers may 
charge their workers when the employer provides three meals a day, and 
(2) the maximum travel subsistence meal reimbursement that a worker 
with receipts may claim in 2013. The Notice also includes a reminder 
regarding employers' obligations with respect to overnight lodging 
costs as part of required subsistence.

DATES: Effective Date: This notice is effective on March 12, 2013.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William L. Carlson, Ph.D., 
Administrator, Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC), U.S. 
Department of Labor, Room C-4312, 200 Constitution Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20210. Telephone: 202-693-3010 (this is not a toll-free 
number).

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States (U.S.) Citizenship and 
Immigration Services of the Department of Homeland Security will not 
approve an employer's petition for the admission of H-2A nonimmigrant 
temporary agricultural workers in the U.S. unless the petitioner has 
received from the Department an H-2A labor certification. The H-2A 
labor certification provides that: (1) there are not sufficient U.S. 
workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available 
at the time and place needed to perform the labor or services involved 
in the petition; and (2) the employment of the foreign worker(s) in 
such labor or services will not adversely affect the wages and working 
conditions of workers in the U.S. similarly employed. 8 U.S.C. 
1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(a), 1184(c)(1), and 1188(a); 8 CFR 214.2(h)(5).

Allowable Meal Charge

    Among the minimum benefits and working conditions that the 
Department requires employers to offer their U.S. and H-2A workers are 
three meals a day or free and convenient cooking and kitchen 
facilities. 20 CFR 655.122(g). Where the employer provides the meals, 
the job offer must state the charge, if any, to the worker for such 
meals. Id.
    The Department provides, at 20 CFR 655.173(a), the methodology for 
determining the maximum amounts that H-2A agricultural employers may 
charge their U.S. and foreign workers for providing them with three 
meals per day during employment. This methodology provides for annual 
adjustments of the previous year's maximum allowable charge based upon 
updated Consumer Price Index (CPI) data. The maximum charge allowed by 
20 CFR 655.122(g) is adjusted by the same percentage as the 12-month 
percent change in the CPI for all Urban Consumers for Food (CPI-U for 
Food) \1\. The OFLC Certifying Officer may also permit an employer to 
charge workers a higher amount for providing them with three meals a 
day, if the higher amount is justified and sufficiently documented by 
the employer, as set forth in 20 CFR 655.173(b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Consumer Price Index--December 2012, published January 16, 
2013 at http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department has determined that the percentage change between 
December of 2011 and December of 2012 for the CPI-U for Food was 2.6 
percent. Accordingly, the maximum allowable charge under 20 CFR 
655.122(g) shall be no more than $11.42 per day, unless the OFLC 
Certifying Officer approves a higher charge as authorized under 20 CFR 
655.173(b).

Reimbursement for Daily Travel Subsistence

    The regulations at 20 CFR 655.122(h) establish that the minimum 
daily travel subsistence expense for meals, for which a worker is 
entitled to reimbursement, must be at least as much as the employer 
would charge for providing the worker with three meals a day during 
employment (if applicable), but in no event less than the amount 
permitted under Sec.  655.173(a), i.e. the charge annually adjusted by 
the 12-month percentage change in CPI for all Urban Consumers for food. 
The regulation is silent about the maximum amount to which a qualifying 
worker is entitled.
    The Department bases the maximum meals component of the daily 
travel subsistence expense on the standard minimum Continental United 
States (CONUS) per diem rate as established by the General Services 
Administration (GSA) at 41 CFR part 301, formerly published in Appendix 
A, and now found at www.gsa.gov/perdiem. The CONUS minimum meals 
component remains $46.00 per day for 2013.\2\ Workers who qualify for 
travel reimbursement are entitled to reimbursement for meals up to the 
CONUS meal rate when they provide receipts. In determining the 
appropriate amount of reimbursement for meals for less than a full day, 
the employer may provide for meal expense reimbursement, with receipts, 
to 75 percent of the maximum reimbursement for meals of $34.50, as 
provided for in the GSA per diem schedule. If a worker has no receipts, 
the employer is not obligated to reimburse above the minimum stated at 
20 CFR 655.173(a) as specified above.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Maximum Per Diem Rates for the Continental United States 
(CONUS), 77 FR 54578 (Sept. 5, 2012); see also www.gsa.gov/perdiem.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The term ``subsistence'' includes both meals and lodging during 
travel to and from the worksite. Therefore, an employer is responsible 
for providing, paying in advance, or reimbursing a worker for the 
reasonable costs of transportation and daily subsistence between the 
employer's worksite and the place from which the worker comes to work 
for the employer, if the worker completes 50 percent of the work 
contract period, and upon the worker completing the contract, return 
costs. In those instances where a worker must travel to obtain a visa 
so that the worker may enter the U.S. to come to work for the employer, 
the employer must pay for the transportation and daily subsistence 
costs of that part of the travel as well.

[[Page 15742]]

    The Department interprets the regulation to require the employer to 
assume responsibility for the reasonable costs associated with the 
worker's travel, including transportation, food, and, in those 
instances where it is necessary, lodging. The minimum and maximum daily 
travel meal reimbursement amounts are established above. If 
transportation and lodging are not provided by the employer, the amount 
an employer must pay for transportation and, where required, lodging, 
must be no less than (and is not required to be more than) the most 
economical and reasonable costs. The employer is responsible for those 
costs necessary for the worker to travel to the worksite if the worker 
completes 50 percent of the work contract period, but is not 
responsible for unauthorized detours, and if the worker completes the 
contract, return transportation and subsistence costs, including 
lodging costs where necessary. This policy applies equally to instances 
where the worker is traveling within the U.S. to the employer's 
worksite.
    For further information on when the employer is responsible for 
lodging costs, please see the Department's H-2A Frequently Asked 
Questions on Travel and Daily Subsistence, which may found on the OFLC 
Web site: http://www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/.

     Signed in Washington, DC on this 27th day of February, 2013.
Jane Oates,
Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
[FR Doc. 2013-05580 Filed 3-11-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P