OLYMPIA, Wash. — The minimum wage for H-2A visa foreign guestworkers has jumped 55 cents an hour in Washington and Oregon to $12.42 for 2015, the Washington Farm Labor Association says.
That’s a substantial increase. A year ago the wage dropped 13 cents an hour for Washington and Oregon.
It is a minimum. Employers are required to pay H-2A workers the higher of the minimum or the applicable piece rate, the association has said.
The rate in California will increase from $11.01 to $11.33 per hour and in Idaho it will go from $10.69 to $11.14, the association announced in a news release.
The minimum wage for H-2A workers is set annually by the U.S. Department of Labor and based on surveys of agricultural wages in a given region. The rate is known as the adverse effect wage rate (AEWR) and is intended to prevent wages of similarly employed U.S. workers in a region from being adversely affected by the importation of foreign workers.
Washington state’s minimum wage is $9.32 per hour will go to $9.47 on Jan. 1. Oregon’s is $9.10 and will go to $9.25 on Jan. 1.
California’s is $9 and will go to $12.25 in San Francisco in May. Idaho’s is $7.25 and so far is remaining at that for 2015.