NWLC Applauds Department of Labor’s Newly Issued Protections for Farmworkers in the H-2A Program

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Biden Administration’s Department of Labor (DOL) announced new regulations for the H-2A agricultural guestworker program.  The new regulations will provide much needed improvements to empower the hundreds of thousands of temporary agricultural workers who are brought into the United States by American employers every year. The new regulations will allow H-2A workers to more readily assert their rights and prevent potential abuse of both H-2A and domestic farmworkers.  These protections are important for farmworker women, who face unique challenges in their work, including sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination. 

The following is a statement by Emily Martin, Chief Program Officer for the National Women’s Law Center:  

“Farmworker women are essential workers who often labor in difficult circumstances to help provide our nation’s food supply. Strong agricultural guestworker protections are needed to ensure farmworkers can access their basic rights, including to prevent sexual harassment, sex discrimination, and other abuses. DOL’s new regulations are an important step forward to improve workers’ rights, enhance the program’s accountability, and help prevent discrimination against domestic farmworkers and exploitation of H-2A workers. We commend DOL for issuing these critically needed protections.”