Labor Certification Process for the Temporary Employment of Aliens in Agriculture in the United States: 2015 Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals and Travel Subsistence Reimbursement, Including Lodging, 9482-9483 [2015-03596]

Download as PDF Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES 9482 Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 35 / Monday, February 23, 2015 / Notices collection of information that does not display a valid Control Number. See 5 CFR 1320.5(a) and 1320.6. The DOL obtains OMB approval for this information collection under Control Number 1205–0398. OMB authorization for an ICR cannot be for more than three (3) years without renewal, and the current approval for this collection is scheduled to expire on February 28, 2015. The DOL currently seeks to extend PRA authorization for this information collection, without any change to existing requirements. The DOL notes that existing information collection requirements submitted to the OMB receive a month-to-month extension while they undergo review. For additional substantive information about this ICR, see the related notice published in the Federal Register on September 10, 2014 (79 FR 53786). Interested parties are encouraged to send comments to the OMB, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the address shown in the ADDRESSES section within thirty (30) days of publication of this notice in the Federal Register. In order to help ensure appropriate consideration, comments should mention OMB Control Number 1205–0398. The OMB is particularly interested in comments that: • 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 submission of responses. Agency: DOL–ETA. Title of Collection: Planning Guidance and Instructions for Strategic State Plan and Plan Modifications Submission for Workforce Investment Act Title I and Wagner-Peyser Act. OMB Control Number: 1205–0398. Affected Public: State, Local, and Tribal Governments. Total Estimated Number of Respondents: 10. Total Estimated Number of Responses: 10. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:19 Feb 20, 2015 Jkt 235001 Total Estimated Annual Time Burden: 400 hours. Total Estimated Annual Other Costs Burden: $0. Authority: 44 U.S.C. 3507(a)(1)(D). Dated: February 12, 2015. Michel Smyth, Departmental Clearance Officer. [FR Doc. 2015–03561 Filed 2–20–15; 8:45 am] 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: 2015 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 2015 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 2015. 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 February 23, 2015. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William W. Thompson, Acting 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 SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00055 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 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 655.173(a) 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 2013 and December of 2014 for the CPI–U for Food was 2.4 percent. Accordingly, the maximum an employer is allowed to charge under 20 CFR 655.122(g) shall be no more than $11.86 per day, unless the OFLC Certifying Officer approves a higher charge for a specific employer 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, to 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 1 Consumer Price Index—December 2014, published January 16, 2015 at http://data.bls.gov/ pdq/SurveyOutputServlet E:\FR\FM\23FEN1.SGM 23FEN1 Rmajette on DSK2VPTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 35 / Monday, February 23, 2015 / Notices permitted under § 655.173(a), i.e. the charge annually adjusted by the 12month percentage change in CPI–U for Food. The Department determines 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 2015.2 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 (either paying in advance or reimbursing a worker) 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. Upon the worker completing the contract, the employer is obligated to pay the 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. As the Department has stated before, we interpret 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 2 Maximum Per Diem Rates for the Continental United States (CONUS), 79 FR 48168 (August. 15, 2014); see also www.gsa.gov/perdiem. VerDate Sep<11>2014 14:19 Feb 20, 2015 Jkt 235001 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 the employer is further responsible for return transportation and subsistence costs, including lodging costs where necessary. This policy also applies 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 transportation, lodging and meal 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/. Portia Wu, Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration. [FR Doc. 2015–03596 Filed 2–20–15; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4510–FP–P NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 50–271; NRC–2015–0034] Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc., Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption; issuance. AGENCY: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing an exemption in response to a October 31, 2013, request from Entergy Nuclear Operations, Inc. (Entergy or the licensee), from certain regulatory requirements. The exemption would remove the requirement that a licensed senior operator approve the emergency suspension of security measures for Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Station (VY) during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather. ADDRESSES: Please refer to Docket ID NRC–2015–0034 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this document. You may obtain publicly-available information related to this document using any of the following methods: • Federal Rulemaking Web site: Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2015–0034. Address questions about NRC dockets to Carol Gallagher; telephone: 301–415–3463; SUMMARY: PO 00000 Frm 00056 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 9483 email: Carol.Gallagher@nrc.gov. For technical questions, contact the individual listed in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section of this document. • NRC’s Agencywide Documents Access and Management System (ADAMS): You may obtain publiclyavailable documents online in the ADAMS Public Documents collection at http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/ adams.html. To begin the search, select ‘‘ADAMS Public Documents’’ and then select ‘‘Begin Web-based ADAMS Search.’’ For problems with ADAMS, please contact the NRC’s Public Document Room (PDR) reference staff at 1–800–397–4209, 301–415–4737, or by email to pdr.resource@nrc.gov. The ADAMS accession number for each document referenced in this document (if that document is available in ADAMS) is provided the first time that a document is referenced. • NRC’s PDR: You may examine and purchase copies of public documents at the NRC’s PDR, Room O1–F21, One White Flint North, 11555 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: James Kim, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation; U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC 20555– 0001; telephone: 301–415–4125; email: James.Kim@nrc.gov. I. Background Entergy is the holder of Renewed Facility Operating License No. DPR–28. The license provides, among other things, that the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the NRC now or hereafter in effect. The facility consists of a boiling-water reactor located in Windham County, Vermont. By letter dated January 12, 2015, (ADAMS Accession No. ML15013A426), Entergy submitted to the NRC the certification, in accordance with Section 50.82(a)(1)(i) and 50.82(a)(1)(ii) of Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations (10 CFR), indicating it permanently ceased power operations and that the VY reactor vessel was permanently defueled. II. Request/Action On October 31, 2013 (ADAMS Accession No. ML13317A077), the licensee requested an exemption from 10 CFR 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii), pursuant to 10 CFR 73.5, ‘‘Specific exemptions.’’ Section 73.55(p)(1)(i) and 73.55(p)(1)(ii) require, in part, that the suspension of security measures during certain emergency conditions or during severe weather be approved by a licensed senior operator. The exemption request relates solely to the licensing E:\FR\FM\23FEN1.SGM 23FEN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 35 (Monday, February 23, 2015)]
[Notices]
[Pages 9482-9483]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-03596]


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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: 2015 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 2015 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 2015. 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 February 23, 2015.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: William W. Thompson, Acting 
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 655.173(a) 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 2014, published January 16, 
2015 at http://data.bls.gov/pdq/SurveyOutputServlet
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Department has determined that the percentage change between 
December of 2013 and December of 2014 for the CPI-U for Food was 2.4 
percent. Accordingly, the maximum an employer is allowed to charge 
under 20 CFR 655.122(g) shall be no more than $11.86 per day, unless 
the OFLC Certifying Officer approves a higher charge for a specific 
employer 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, to 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

[[Page 9483]]

permitted under Sec.  655.173(a), i.e. the charge annually adjusted by 
the 12-month percentage change in CPI-U for Food.
    The Department determines 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 2015.\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), 79 FR 48168 (August. 15, 2014); 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 (either paying in advance or reimbursing a worker) 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. Upon the worker completing the contract, the employer 
is obligated to pay the 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.
    As the Department has stated before, we interpret 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 the employer is further responsible for return transportation 
and subsistence costs, including lodging costs where necessary. This 
policy also applies 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 
transportation, lodging and meal 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/.

Portia Wu,
Assistant Secretary, Employment and Training Administration.
[FR Doc. 2015-03596 Filed 2-20-15; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4510-FP-P