With the arrival of your H-2B workers, it’s crucial to revisit the foundational responsibilities that you, as an employer, must uphold. Failure to comply with these obligations can lead to significant legal complications, financial penalties, and damage to your company’s reputation. Here, we highlight some of the most commonly overlooked compliance items to ensure your business remains on the right track.

1. Wage Requirements

One of the critical areas where compliance slips occur is in meeting the required wage obligations. Employers must pay their H-2B workers the highest of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees with similar experience and qualifications. This ensures fairness and equity in compensation across your workforce.

2. Working Conditions and Safety

H-2B workers must be provided with working conditions that meet applicable federal and state safety standards. This includes proper training, especially for jobs that involve potential hazards. Regular safety audits and training updates can help prevent accidents and ensure compliance.

3. Tax Deductions

Employers must be careful when handling tax deductions for H-2B workers. It is essential to deduct the correct amounts for federal and state taxes and to ensure all H-2B workers have valid social security numbers or ITINs. Mistakes in tax withholding can lead to fines and penalties from the IRS. Employers should consult with a tax professional or use reliable payroll software to manage these deductions accurately.

4. Accurate Record Keeping

Accurate and detailed record-keeping is a frequent pitfall for many employers. This includes maintaining records of work hours, pay received, and deductions made. These records must be kept for at least three years and be readily available for inspection.

5. No Unlawful Deductions

Employers often mistakenly make deductions from wages for items such as tools, uniforms, or other expenses related to the job. However, such deductions must not reduce an employee’s earnings below the required wage rate nor should they be made without explicit consent as outlined by H-2B regulations.

6. Housing and Transportation

If you offer housing or are responsible for the transportation of your H-2B workers, it’s essential to ensure that these meet all health, safety, and legal standards. Overlooking these aspects can lead to non-compliance and serious penalties.

Fulfilling these obligations not only protects your workers but also protects your business from legal actions and enhances your reputation as a fair and lawful employer.

At The Bernard Firm, we understand the complexities involved in H-2B compliance. We are committed to helping companies like yours stay fully informed and compliant with all legal requirements. Our expertise can guide you through the intricacies of labor laws, ensuring that your business operations run smoothly and legally. Your peace of mind is our priority, and we are here to assist you in all aspects of H-2B employment compliance.