Employment Security Department: Frequently asked questions - December 17, 2012
Foreign guest workers
Once an employer is approved for participation, the U.S. Department of Labor is responsible for assuring compliance with program requirements, such as paying prevailing wages and workers’ compensation insurance, providing adequate housing and meals and paying for workers' transportation to and from their home country.
Employers must submit a worker recruitment request to the Employment Security Department no fewer than 60 and no more than 75 calendar days before the workers are needed. If the WorkSource system and employer are unable to recruit an adequate number of U.S. workers, the employer can submit an H-2A application to the U.S. Department of Labor at least 45 days before the worker is needed.
Agricultural employers interested in learning more about the program should contact Employment Security’s H-2A program coordinator, Daniel Valdez at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-407-1361; reporters should contact Bill Tarrow at
The Employment Security Department works with the federal government to verify the Social Security numbers of all unemployment-insurance applicants. Anyone not legally entitled to work in this country is not eligible for unemployment benefits and is not eligible to receive a WorkSource job referral.
Data about foreign workers are maintained by federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, Customs and Immigration and the Department of State.
In 2010, H-2A employers requested 3,054 foreign guest-worker certifications, and 2,991 were granted by the U.S. Department of Labor.