An international business solutions company, ADP Inc., of Roseland, N.J., the Washington Farm Labor Association and five other businesses are putting together services that may increase use of the H-2A foreign guest-worker visa program by West Coast growers.
The group, headed by ADP, is offering recruitment, hiring, payroll and regulatory compliance services that will make it easier for growers to use the cumbersome federal H-2A program with less risk and expense, said Jeff Ballew, national agribusiness leader at ADP.
A lot of growers, short of workers, shy away from H-2A program because of the expense and risk of government fines for noncompliance with regulations, Ballew said.
ADP and its partners will record H-2A workers' time at work through field computers provided to employers. ADP will handle payroll, taxes, monitor compliance with the Department of Labor and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations and automatically send earnings to employees' homes in a foreign country if they want. Depending on length of stay, H-2A workers may not fall under Obamacare but it appears growers will have to provide healthcare for other workers on the payroll for more than 60 days or pay fines, Ballew said.
SOURCE: Dan Wheat, Capital Press