WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), and Dr. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on October 31 introduced the bipartisan Save our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2015, legislation that focuses on substantive reforms aimed to help seasonal employers better navigate the H-2B temporary non-agricultural visa program. The legislation would increase certainty for business, allowing seasonal employers to better prepare for fluctuations in demand.
The H-2B program is vital to small and seasonal employers across the country who depend on temporary workers to sustain their businesses and supplement their existing American workforce. This bipartisan legislation would streamline the program to eliminate ambiguities and establish clear parameters for employers hiring H-2B workers, require increased coordination between federal agencies, and bring transparency to the program operations for greater efficiency while ensuring American workers are not displaced.
“Across North Carolina and the country, seasonal employers have been unfairly facing bureaucratic barriers through the H-2B program, to the point where they are not even sure if they can continue to stay in business,” said Senator Tillis. “This bipartisan legislation will not only help alleviate the stress and frustrations our business owners face within the H-2B program, but will continue to place a priority on both the American workforce and our local economies.”
The introduction of this bipartisan effort comes after employers have faced several road blocks navigating the H-2B process this year, including a suspension of the program that left many business owners shut out of the process. In addition to the bill, earlier this week a group of 26 Senators sent a bipartisan letter to the Department of Labor expressing concern and frustration over the Department’s H-2B labor certification process.