Employer Obligations to US Workers

The JTP Agency
November 7, 2023

Securing the right talent for seasonal or temporary positions is a crucial aspect of any business operation. For employers in the United States looking to hire foreign workers on H-2B visas, it's essential to understand and comply with the recruitment and hiring requirements set forth by the Department of Labor (DOL). In this blog post, we'll delve into the key steps and obligations employers must follow when seeking to employ H-2B visa workers.

U.S. Worker Recruitment Requirements

  • Job Order Submission: Employers must submit a job order to the State Workforce Agency (SWA) that remains open until 21 days before the first date of need.

  • Listing on SeasonalJobs.dol.gov: The job order must be listed on seasonaljobs.dol.gov, a platform designed to connect employers with potential U.S. workers.

  • Contacting Former U.S. Employees:Employers are required to reach out to their former U.S. employees, providing them with an opportunity to return to work.

  • Bargaining Representative Notification:If there is a bargaining representative, written notification must be provided to inform them of the job opportunity.

  • Posting Job Availability: In the absence of a bargaining representative, employers must post the availability of the job opportunity in at least two conspicuous locations.

  • Additional Recruitment (if required by ETA): The Employment and Training Administration (ETA) may require additional recruitment efforts, which must be conducted by the employer.

  • Maintaining a Recruitment Report: Employers must keep a detailed recruitment report, documenting all efforts made to attract U.S. workers.

U.S. Worker Hiring Requirements

  • Hiring Qualified U.S. Applicants:Employers must hire qualified U.S. applicants and may not discriminate against them for any discriminatory reasons.

  • Equal Treatment for U.S. and H-2B Workers:Employers must not impose any restrictions or obligations on U.S. workers that are not also imposed on H-2B workers.

  • Listing Job Qualifications in the Job Order:Each job qualification and requirement must be clearly listed in the job order to ensure transparency and fair consideration for all applicants.

  • Prohibition of Preferential Treatment: Employers must offer U.S. workers terms and working conditions at least as favorable as those offered or provided to H-2B workers, ensuring equal treatment and opportunities for all employees.

Prohibition of U.S. Worker Layoff or Displacement

Employers are prohibited from laying off U.S. employees in the period beginning 120 days before the date of need through the end of the certification.

If a lawful, job-related layoff is necessary after H-2B workers have arrived, the employer must lay off all H-2B workers before laying off U.S. workers.

Partnering with The JTP Agency

Navigating the H-2B visa process and ensuring compliance with DOL requirements can be complex. That's where The JTP Agency comes in. We specialize in helping employers match with their needed H-2B visa employees, providing expert guidance and support throughout the hiring process.


Complying with U.S. worker recruitment and hiring requirements is essential for employers seeking to employ H-2B visa workers. Partnering with The JTP Agency, businesses can navigate the process smoothly and ensure they have the right workforce to drive their success.

Source: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/immigration/h2b