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MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
APRIL 2017

Director Update

Dan Fazio, Director

We stormed into March and worked like lions, filing 65 H-2A contracts for May/June crossings, and April is looking like a lamb by comparison! The April 21, 2017 wafla deadline for H-2A contracts this year is quickly approaching. The reason for the deadline is so that we can file contracts with the maximum time available to help members. Please contact us right away if you are planning a late season contract and we don't have information for it. A great benefit this year will be transporting workers by air. We were able to fly several small groups this month, and the workers love it. We look forward to flying 100+ workers a day in May and June. Another first - wafla crossed the first H-2A workers in America from El Salvador - ever. See story below. 

We hope you were able to attend our first webinar of the season last Tuesday: What to do if ICE Comes Knocking. We received strong reviews from members who attended, so we posted the Labor Brief and other valuable resources from this webinar to the Member's Only/Employer Resources webpage on this issue. Access here. If you haven't taken advantage of the great deal of purchasing a webinar season pass, you should soon. Learn more and view this season's webinar line up here

Last, wafla continues to grow - thanks to members - and we are currently seeking qualified candidates for several new positions. Learn more click here.

As always, thanks for being a member.

 Sincerely,

 
Dan Fazio, Executive Director

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HRAnswers - Great Question!

Q. We have chosen to pay our piece rate workers (2014 & 2015) back for their piece rate breaks. What we want to know is what interest rate should be used and how do we calculate the interest? Is it simple or compounded interest? Do we calculate it daily or can we take the sum of the total for 2014 and then pay them interest and same with 2015?

Wafla members can submit unlimited HR questions through HRAnswers located under the members only tab at our website.

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Improving H-2A: Efficiency & Options

Air Travel

Wafla conducted several small inbound air travel test groups in March. Air transport is not new for smaller groups, but making the process cost efficient for large groups takes coordination, planning and expertise. Air travel is safer, costs are comparable, it gets the workforce here faster, and workers love it. The goal is making the legal worker program better work for employers in the Pacific Northwest!

Central America Workforce

This month wafla became the first H-2A employer to bring workers from El Salvador. We had been contacted by an agricultural cooperative there who has a fantastic worker training program; our visit in January cemented our belief that these workers will succeed in the PNW. For our first group, we sent 48 to the border, and 94 percent were issued visas. The next week we requested and received visas for all Salvadoran workers. In June, we hope to cross our first group of 100 workers from Guatemala. We have been equally impressed by the infrastructure in place there. 

In 2017, wafla offers a fixed rate of $1,200 per worker from Guatemala and El Salvador, and covers all expenses. Call us if you have questions.

Don't forget: if you need a stable and legal workforce this year, we are asking that you send us your Employer Questionnaire by April 21, 2017. Continuing members with questions should contact Visa Program Manager, Cynthia Gonzalez immediately or (360) 455-8064 x 109. New to using the program? Call Greg Vasquez, or request a consult immediately here:

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Spotlight - Member Only Resources
Wafla members not only gain access to niche seasonal employer products, services and educational opportunities, but also to valuable tools and resources located under the "Member's Only" tab at wafla.org.
  • HRAnswers
    Have an HR question? We can answer it for you!
  • Employer Resources
    Forms, Guidance and Labor Briefs. - ICE Enforcement Guidance just posted - New
  • Archived Webinars
    Three webinar seasons recordings and handouts (2016 New, 2015, 2014).
  • Required Postings
    Current state and federal workplace postings and guidance in one place (WA, OR, ID).
  • Helpful Links
    Quick links specific and helpful to agricultural employers (WA, OR ID).
Get the most out of your membership! Click here to access.

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Did you Know? Straight from the Government

FEDERAL

PRESIDENT TRUMP NULLIFIES DRUG TESTING RULE
U.S. Dept. of Labor Newsroom

USCIS Reaches the H-2B Cap for Fiscal Year 2017
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Alerts

STATE

Washington

Unemployment rate hits nine-year low in Washington
Employment Security Department News Releases

Agriculture labor law training offered in Yakima and Wenatchee in late April
Dept. of Labor & Industries Latest News

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Just the Facts

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is the agency within the Department Homeland Security tasked with enforcing immigration laws within the interior of the United States, including worksite enforcement. Sister agency Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspects people and goods entering the country. Although CBP jurisdiction generally ends 25 miles from the U.S. border, CBP occasionally claims jurisdiction further within the U.S. Finally, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) assists people who are applying for citizenship, a visa, or permission to enter or remain in the country.

We posted three new guidance resources under the Member's Only/Employer Resources webpage. Click here to access.

  • ICE Enforcement Labor Brief: Immigration Enforcement Policy Shift Under the Trump Administration
  • Know Your Rights (English/Spanish)
  • What to do if ICE Comes Knocking (English/Spanish)
Purchase a webinar Season Pass and we will send you the recording to the webinar we just conducted on this issue! More information below.

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wafla in the News

Associations seek seasonal farmworker housing
Capital Press

Fearful Farmers Rush To Find ‘Guest Workers’
Indiana Public Media

ICE arrests of undocumented immigrants spark concerns
Chinook Observer

WAFLA moves H-2A workers to PNW by air
Capital Press

Worried Washington growers: ‘Mob mentality’ around immigration threatens state’s ag industry
Seattle Times

States find ways to deal with labor shortages
Fruit Growers News

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Learn and GROW

2017 Webinar Season
Upcoming Webinars

Temporary Worker Housing Rules Update
Tuesday, April 18 (11A - Noon)
Learn more here

Form I-9 - The New Smart Form & More
Tuesday, April 25 (11A - Noon)
Learn more here

Buses, Vans, Shuttles: Ag Transportation rules & Reg's - Get on Board
Thursday, May 11 (11A - Noon)
Learn more here

Purchase a Season Pass
View schedule and learn more here now!

Pay one time and be set for the entire season! This is an amazing offer exclusively for wafla members. Other comparable webinars are priced at over $200 per webinar. We hope you see the value in this small investment.
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