The US Department of Labor (DOL) today announced the new Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWR) for 2023.  Employers of H-2A workers must implement these new rates on January 1.  For Texas, the new AEWR is $14.87/hour, up from 2022’s AEWR of $13.88/hour.

DOL’s H–2A regulations provide that employers must pay their H–2A workers and workers in corresponding employment at least the highest of: (i) the AEWR; (ii) a prevailing wage rate if the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) Administrator has approved a prevailing wage survey for the applicable crop activity or agricultural activity and, if applicable, a distinct work task or tasks performed in that activity; (iii) the agreed-upon collective bargaining wage rate; (iv) the Federal minimum wage rate; or (v) the State minimum wage rate, whichever is highest, for every hour or portion thereof worked during a pay period.

In most cases, the AEWR is the highest of the above choices.  In addition, if the AEWR is raised during a contract period, the new AEWR must be paid when it becomes effective.  For 2023, the new rates are effective January 1.

As always, please contact your association office if you have questions about this, or any other issues affecting your operation.