2019 H-Programs Compliance Assistance Event for Louisiana Employers

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South Louisiana Community College - Lafayette Campus

320 Devalcourt Street

Lafayette, LA 70506

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Don’t miss this opportunity for free compliance assistance and training from the agencies that enforce Federal and State laws that impact your business.

The New Orleans District Office (NODO) will partner with federal and state agencies to offer compliance assistance events focused on various provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This event will interest employers who seek H program (H-2A and H-2B) certification as well as their representatives. The NODO’s goal is to share with attendees any changes, updates or trends that impact them. This half-day event will be held in Lafayette, LA and it will include a panel discussion followed by several workshops. Please see agenda below. The event is provided at no cost to participants, but space is limited. You are welcome to share this invitation with any constituents whom you believe would be interested in attending. Those who wish to attend this event need to register.

Event Agenda:

Panel Discussion:

Protecting the American Workforce and Employers Obligations

Discussion will focus on common issues/violations in H-programs and employer obligations: recruitment and preferential treatments, immigration-based discrimination, visa fraud including labor trafficking.

This event will be moderated by:

Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation

Brian Breaux, Senior Commodity and Public Policy Director

Brian Breaux is the Senior Commodity and Public Policy Director Coordinator for the Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation. He has been on the Farm Bureau staff for the past 38 years and handles State and National Legislation/Regulatory Issues for Sugarcane, Cotton, Sweet Potatoes, Market Produce, Nursery, Pecans, Agricultural Labor, Transportation, Wetland Mitigation and Prior Converted Crop Land. He has been actively involved in agricultural labor and immigration issues at the National and State level for over 26 years and coordinates the Mid South Agricultural Labor Seminar for Louisiana farmers and agribusinesses annually.

The American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A

Jim Simon,

Jim Simon possesses a genuine interest in agriculture and its people. His family has been in the sugar and rice production and business for several generations. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1983 from L. S. U. He has served as Chairman of the Board, or Committee chairman of several civic organizations in New Iberia including the Chamber of Commerce, Iberia Industrial Development Foundation, Kiwanis, and Sugarcane Fair & Festival. And Shadows on the Teche. Mr. Simon is recognized as a national sugar industry leader as he is a Past-Chairman of the Board of the Sugar Association. He is also one of four U.S. Sugar Industry representatives on the “Mexican Task Force”, a team that negotiates sugar trade with Mexico and serves and As Chairman of USDA’s Sweetener Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee. In June 2004, after a Career in Banking, Jim joined the American Sugar Cane League as its General Manager. He monitors research activities and coordinates the federal and state lobbying activities, and deals with environmental, trade, and other industry issues, as well as social and cultural issues which have a daily impact on the Louisiana sugar industry. Jim, and his wife Nancy, reside in New Iberia.

Panelists:

DOL- Wage and Hour Division (WHD):

Troy Mouton, District Director

Troy M. Mouton is the District Director for the New Orleans District Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The WHD’s New Orleans District Office conducts compliance assistance and investigations throughout the State of Louisiana in multiple program areas, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), government contract statutes, and provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Troy has over 20 years of experience with WHD and has held the positions of investigator, senior investigator advisor, assistant district director, and now district director. Troy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and received a Truman scholarship before completing advanced studies at the graduate school of Louisiana State University.

DOJ- Immigrant and Employee Rights Section IER

Jenna Grambort, IER trial attorney

Jenna Grambort is a Trial Attorney in the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Prior to joining IER, Jenna worked as a judicial law clerk and as a staff attorney at a legal aid organization. Jenna graduated from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and is admitted to the state bars of California and Colorado.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Wilfred J. Hebert, Compliance Assistance Specialist

Wilfred J. Hebert has been chosen to represent the U. S. Department of Labor (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Mr. Hebert has 29 years’ experience with OSHA (19 years as a Compliance Safety and Health Officer and 10 years as a Compliance Assistance Specialist) and he has 30 plus years with the U. S. Army as a Military Instructor (Regular and Reservist). Both jobs involve regulatory compliance and require safety and health training.

US DHS –ICE Worksite Enforcement and IMAGE

Jason L. Whitehead, Group Supervisor, Public Safety Unit HSI New Orleans

Louisiana Workforce Commission – Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) unit

Alicia Whitley, Louisiana SWA

Alicia Whitley is currently the Louisiana State Workforce Agency Foreign Labor Coordinator with Louisiana Workforce Commission. She graduated with a Business degree in Information Systems where she brings more than 10 years of experience as a Senior Business Analyst. As the liaison between employers/agencies, LWC, and the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) for Foreign Labor, Alicia is responsible for reviewing applications and statewide housing inspection reports against OSHA and ETA housing standards for Migrant Seasonal Farm Workers to determine compliance with federal regulations for more than 280 employers.

Merrill Hess, Workforce Development Officer 5

Merrill Hess has worked for the Louisiana Workforce Commission since 1985. The first few years he worked in a local office providing job placement services. He moved into contract and grant management and program oversight and guidance roles for the succession of Workforce Development programs - JTPA, EDWAA, WIA, WIOA, and partner anti-poverty programs. Other experience included management information systems, monitoring, State rule and program policy development, training, and program development. In 2010 he assumed statewide responsibility the Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) unit. The unit is responsible for the State Workforce Agency operations of the H-2 visa temporary worker programs. He directed the program full time from 2010 until retirement in 2017. Currently, he assists the unit on a part time basis.



Session A, 10:00am - 10:45am

Session B 11:00am – 11:45am

Session C 12:00pm – 12:45pm

Room 1. WHD | H-2A Provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This presentation covers the legal obligations of agricultural employers relating to the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) and the H-2A program and relates to the H-2A regulations which became effective on March 15, 2010.

Presented by: Eden Ramirez, Targeted Enforcement Coordinator SW Regional Office

As a Targeted Enforcement Coordinator with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division - Southwest Regional Office, Eden utilizes his extensive investigative experience to coordinate the region’s agriculture enforcement activities within its territory, which expands across eleven (11) states.

Eden has worked for the Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division for over twenty-two years (22) where he has served in different capacities; Wage and Hour Investigator, Wage and Hour Team Leader in the New Orleans District Office, Assistant District Director and District Director in the McAllen District Office.

Eden earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Eden is fluent in Spanish and volunteers with Friends of the Richardson Public Library, a nonprofit organization

Room 2. WHD |Requirements to Participate in the H-2B Program. This presentation covers the legal obligations of employers relating to the H-2B program

Presented by: Jason Brister, Assistant District Director New Orleans District Office.

Room 3. US DHS –ICE | Compliance with employment eligibility verification requirements, to include the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9), and the benefits of membership in the IMAGE Program.

Presented by: Stephen Cole, HSI New Orleans IMAGE Coordinator

Room 4. US DOJ - IER | Avoiding Unlawful Discrimination Based on Citizenship Status and National Origin. This presentation covers the legal obligations of employers relating to the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Among other unlawful conduct, the law prohibits employers from hiring temporary visa holders over qualified and available U.S. workers based on a discriminatory preference for visa workers.

Presented by: Jenna Grambort, IER trial attorney.

Room 5. LWC | Avoiding Non-Compliant Housing Conditions

This presentation will be an overview of the H2A & H2B job order process. It will include frequently asked questions and resolutions pertaining to the common challenges of housing compliance.

Presented by Alicia Whitley and Merrill Hess

Room 6. OSHA | OSHA inspectors, called compliance safety and health officers, are experienced, well-trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals whose goal is to assure compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers and workers reduce on-the-job hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace. This session will discuss the inspection procedures.

Presented by: Terri Irvin, Safety and Health Officer/ Wilfred Hebert, Compliance Assistance.

Participating agencies and stakeholders:

  • DOL- Wage and Hour Division (WHD) | The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for administering a number of statutes that extend various protections to different types of agricultural workers. The coverage and requirements of these statutes may overlap. For more assistance with the requirements of each law, see the sections below. Because the interplay between the laws can be complex, please contact the nearest Wage and Hour District office with specific questions.

  1. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains Federal minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements for covered agricultural employers.

  2. The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping. The MSPA also requires farm labor contractors (FLCs) and farm labor contractor employees (FLCEs) to register with the U.S. Department of Labor and to obtain special authorization before housing, transporting, or driving covered workers.

  3. The H-2A visa program establishes standards related to recruitment, wages, housing, transportation, and recordkeeping for employers of temporary non-immigrant agricultural workers admitted to the country under section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

  4. The Field Sanitation Provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act establish minimum standards for covered agricultural settings for toilets, potable drinking water, hand-washing facilities, and for providing information regarding good hygiene practices.

  5. The H-2B nonimmigrant program establishes standards related to recruitment, wages, housing, transportation, and recordkeeping for employers of temporary non-immigrant nonagricultural workers admitted to the country under section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.DOJ- Immigrant and Employee Rights Section IER | The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INAIER)

  • DOJ- Immigrant and Employee Rights Section IER | The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INAIER)

  • US DHS –ICE Worksite Enforcement and IMAGE | The IMAGE program was created in July 2006, as a joint government and private sector initiative designed to build cooperative relationships that strengthen hiring practices and encourage employer compliance to ensure a lawful workforce. Through close coordination and partnership with the private sector, IMAGE seeks to promote principals of ethical business conduct, prevent the hiring of unauthorized workers, and empower employers with a pragmatic immigration compliance strategy.

  • LWC-Foreign Labor Programs | Foreign Labor Certification Unit provides value-added services to employers looking to hire a non U.S. citizen. The Unit works directly with the National Processing Centers and focuses primarily on screening ETA application forms and conducting housing inspections.

  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)| OSHA's mission is to "assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance". The agency is also charged with enforcing a variety of whistleblower statutes and regulations.

  • Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation | The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing farmers, ranchers and rural residents. We are a private, non-profit, non-governmental agency established in 1922 to bring a voice to agricultural issues.

  • The American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. | is a non-profit organization of Louisiana sugarcane growers and processors. We are dedicated to supporting the Louisiana sugar industry through research, legislation, product promotion, education and public relations.

If you have any questions, Please contact William Sabik @ Sabik.william@dol.gov

Date and Time

Location

South Louisiana Community College - Lafayette Campus

320 Devalcourt Street

Lafayette, LA 70506

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