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Hotel Industry Supports Harris H-2b Legislation

Monday, March 17, 2014
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The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) advocates passage of H.R. 4238, a bill that preserves access to temporary seasonal workers through adjustments to the H-2B program.

This legislation, introduced by Congressman Andy Harris (R-MD), makes important amendments to the Immigration and Nationality Act, including:

• Reinstatement of the returning worker exemption so that workers who have complied with the terms of previous H-2B visas can return to the U.S. and not count against the cap of 66,000 visas;
• Clarifying the prevailing wage methodology used in setting H-2B wages, ensuring workers receive pay that is both fair and reflective of current economic conditions; and
• Streamlining the visa recruitment process and allowing for a staggered entry process to meet the needs of employers for their busy seasons.

“The strength of hotels, inns, and resorts across the country, particularly those with periods of peak tourism, is rooted to a great extent in their access to a strong workforce,” said Katherine Lugar, AH&LA president/CEO. “Despite the best efforts of these employers to look first to the U.S. workforce to fill critical job functions at hotels, in many instances there are no workers available. As a result, the H-2B program provides a valuable support for businesses looking to supplement their workforce with temporary seasonal employees. We commend Congressman Harris for drafting legislation that provides important modifications to the H-2B program and ensures its continuing viability and value to American employers and to the men and women utilizing this program to gain temporary employment in this country. We urge the House of Representatives to swiftly approve this bill and provide further stability for hoteliers across the U.S.”

Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.

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