"I was not recruited fairly"

Recruitment fees are illegal.

Charging a fee for recruitment is illegal. You may be entitled to recover those recruitment fees. Employers should not allow their recruiters to charge fees. If you paid a recruiter a fee in your home country, your employer must reimburse you the entirety of that money in your first paycheck.

If you believe your employer has not complied with these requirements, you may contact the Wage & Hour Division by telephone: 1-866-487-9243.

You can also reach out to your home country's embassy or nearest consulate. The US Department of Labor works closely with the embassies and consulates of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras to help workers know their rights and file complaints.

If you are working as part of the H-2A or H-2B visa program, or subject to the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act ("MSPA"), your employer must provide you a written document in a language you understand describing the terms of your job. This document should include information about your wage rate and all deductions that the employer will make from your paycheck.

You can go to the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country when you go in for a visa interview. You can also speak to your home country's labor ministry. You can also call the Wage & Hour Division by telephone: 1-866-487-9243.

Workers on temporary work programs have the right:

  • To receive accurate, written information about the wages, hours, working conditions, and benefits of the employment being offered;
  • To receive this information in a language understood by the worker;
  • For workers in the H-2A and H-2B visa programs, to receive this information before getting a visa (for many workers) but no later than the first day of work (for other workers).

If your employer does not provide these things, or you have questions, call us at 1-866-487-9243 or go to www.dol.gov/agencies/whd. It is illegal for you to be fired or retaliated against for contacting DOL or exercising your rights. Services are free and confidential.

To check to see if an application for temporary labor certification was submitted to the Department of Labor (DOL), you can go to seasonaljobs.dol.gov and look up the employer, location, and job duties. The DOL's Office of Foreign Labor Certification also publishes a list of foreign labor recruiters each quarter for the H-2B program. You can look up the recruiter's name and the case numbers associated with them to find job orders.

For more information you can visit the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) Registered Farm Labor Contractor Listing. www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/agriculture/mspa/farm-labor-contractors

Under the H-2A program, employers are required to provide workers free and safe housing. They also must give you free and safe daily transportation to work and provide meals or a kitchen to prepare your own food. The employer may charge for the meals provided but may not charge for housing.