Must Provide Supplemental Notice to H-2A Agricultural Workers Beginning March 15, 2024

Supplemental Notice to H-2A Agricultural Workers

California’s Notice to Employee pursuant to Labor Code section 2810.5 (also referred to as the Wage Theft Notice) underwent some changes that became effective January 1, 2024. The same bill — AB 636 — also required employers provide additional information to H-2A agricultural employees.

According to the bill’s language, in federal fiscal year 2022, more than 43,000 foreign agricultural temporary workers were admitted to California under the federal H-2A visa program — a dramatic increase over prior years. Many of these workers have never worked in California and are believed to speak and read little to no English, so this supplemental notice was aimed at:

  • Allowing each H-2A worker to easily understand their employer’s obligations under California law;
  • Equipping H-2A workers with the knowledge needed to understand whether those laws are being complied with in the workplace; and
  • Providing information about how to initiate complaints covering possible violations with state and federal agencies.

The California Labor Commissioner had to create a template notice, which is now available, and beginning March 15, 2024, H-2A employers must provide this Spanish language supplemental notice in addition to the main Wage Theft Notice, no later than the day the H-2A worker begins work in California or on the first day that the employee begins work for another (new) H-2A employer. Additionally, if an employee requests the notice in English, employers must provide the notice in English.

The four-page supplemental notice provides information regarding:

  • Wage rights;
  • Sexual harassment prevention;
  • Retaliation protections;
  • Workplace safety and health;
  • Housing rights; and
  • Workers’ compensation and health insurance.

Additionally, the supplemental notice includes a list of additional resources with the contact information of various enforcement agencies and non-governmental organizations that may otherwise provide assistance to employees.

H-2A employers should be sure to begin providing this supplemental notice beginning on March 15, 2024, and update any hiring checklists accordingly.

Bianca N. Saad, General Counsel, Labor and Employment, CalChamber

CalChamber members can read more about “Providing Wage Information Upon Hire” in New Employee Orientation in the HR Library and access the Spanish and English notices. Not a member? Learn how to power your business with a CalChamber membership.

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