EMPLOYMENT AND TRAINING ADMINISTRATION
ADVISORY SYSTEM
U.S. Department of Labor
Washington, D. C. 20210
CLASSIFICATION

H-2B Program

CORRESPONDENCE SYMBOL

ONP

ISSUE DATE

November 4, 2003

RESCISSIONS

None

EXPIRATION DATE

Continuing

ADVISORY

:

TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT GUIDANCE LETTER NO. 12-03

 

TO

:

ALL STATE WORKFORCE AGENCIES

 

FROM

:

EMILY STOVER DeROCCO
Assistant Secretary

 

SUBJECT

:

Policy Clarification for Processing H-2B Temporary Certifications for Occupations in the Landscaping Industry 2003-2004

 

  1. Purpose. To provide clarification to State Workforce Agencies (SWA) with regard to the processing of H-2B temporary applications for limited jobs in the landscaping industry which includes only those activities addressed in this guidance for the 2003-2004 season.

  2. References. General Administration Letter No. 1-95: Procedures for H-2B Temporary Labor Certification in Nonagricultural Occupations; Field Memorandum 25-98: H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Labor Certification Program Requirements; General Administration Letter 2-98: Prevailing Wage Policy for Nonagricultural Immigration Programs; Employment Service Program Letter No. 01-01, Change 2: Policy Clarification for Processing H-2B Temporary Certifications for Occupations in the Landscaping Industry 2002-2003.

  3. Background. Several years ago it was brought to our attention that there were system wide inconsistencies in the processing of H-2B applications for limited jobs in the landscaping industry particularly with respect to two issues: a) the interpretation of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) description for landscaping, and b) the assignment of a wage rate to the landscaping job. Many applications for landscaping jobs list various activities and combinations of activities that make it difficult to achieve a match with a specific SOC code. This problem has led to inconsistent classification of landscaping jobs and consequently, inconsistent assignment of wage rates, specifically Service Contract Act (SCA) wage rates.

  4. Action Required. SWA Administrators are requested to provide the following clarification and guidance to appropriate staff.

    1. Any application received for landscaping jobs which includes the following activities and only the following activities: "mow, cut, water, edge lawns; rake and blow leaves; dig holes and trenches; pull, chop weeds, prune, and haul topsoil and mulch" should be coded as a Laborer, Landscape - SOC Code 37-3011 (Landscaping and Grounds Keeping Worker).

    2. Any landscaping job with the above description should be given the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage rate for OES/SOC Code 37-3011.

    3. This advisory will not apply to H-2B applications where the State agency has already provided a wage rate to the employer and recruitment has begun. Employers are free to withdraw and refile to obtain a new wage determination.

    4. This advisory does not affect the processing of any applications involving jobs containing duties other than those described above. If there are any questions or concerns regarding how to process a particular application, contact your Regional Certifying Officer.

    This guidance is intended for use only in processing applications for the 2003-2004 landscaping season. This guidance should be provided to staff immediately so that processing can be completed on applications pending for jobs in the landscaping industry.

  5. Inquiries. Inquiries should be directed to Charlene Giles at (202) 693-2950.