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A record 257,667 H-2A-visa agricultural foreign guestworker positions were certified by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2019, but the rate of growth slowed to 6.1% after five years of more than 18%.

Agricultural foreign guestworkers sometimes quit their jobs early and return home for various reasons. A farm labor association says it’s a problem but how much of one is unclear from growers.

The use of piece-rate pay in Washington state has been under attack since a state Supreme Court ruling last May that employers must pay workers an hourly minimum wage for non-productive time like weather delays and travel time.