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Wage increase for foreign temporary workers leaves no time for adjustment

Posted on September 14th, 2011 Read time: 1 minutes

An amendment in the federal H2-B visa non-immigrant program will enact drastic pay increases for foreign temporary workers who were hired by companies under the law, the Advertiser reports.

Wages for temp workers across all industries are expected to rise by as much as 70 percent, which has many employers fearing they may be forced to shut down operations because they can't afford to pay.

"We could see people having to terminate their contracts in the country, pay a penalty to return the workers early and shut plants down, which would mean corresponding layoffs," Frank Randol, a crab and crawfish processor from Lafayette, Louisiana, told the news source.

The new wage rules are expected to be enforced on September 30, leaving many employers with little time to adjust. For example, the Louisiana Forestry Association predicts hourly wage to increase from $9.60 to $16.31 per hour. Furthermore, American Shrimp Processors Association will be forced to raise its payments from between $7.50 and $9.00 an hour to between $12.50 and $15.00 an hour.  

Many of these laborers are already "locked into contracts," the New York Post reports, meaning companies can't simply absorb or transfer the contracts elsewhere.  

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