Don’t miss this opportunity for free compliance assistance and training from the agencies that enforce Federal and State laws that impact your business.
The New Orleans District Office (NODO) will partner with federal and state agencies to offer compliance assistance events focused on various provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This event will interest employers who seek H program (H-2A and H-2B) certification as well as their representatives. The NODO’s goal is to share with attendees any changes, updates or trends that impact them. This half-day event will be held in Lafayette, LA and it will include a panel discussion followed by several workshops. Please see attached agenda for each event. The event is provided at no cost to participants, but space is limited. You are welcome to share this invitation with any constituents whom you believe would be interested in attending. Those who wish to attend this event need to register.
Protecting the American Workforce and Employers Obligations
Discussion will focus on common issues/violations in H-programs and employer obligations: recruitment and preferential treatments, immigration-based discrimination, visa fraud including labor trafficking.
This event will be moderated by:
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation
Brian Breaux, Senior Commodity and Public Policy Director
The American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A
Jim Simon, (or designee)
DOL- Wage and Hour Division (WHD):
Troy Mouton, District Director
Troy M. Mouton is the District Director for the New Orleans District Office of the U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The WHD’s New Orleans District Office conducts compliance assistance and investigations throughout the State of Louisiana in multiple program areas, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), government contract statutes, and provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Troy has over 20 years of experience with WHD and has held the positions of investigator, senior investigator advisor, assistant district director, and now district director. Troy graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and received a Truman scholarship before completing advanced studies at the graduate school of Louisiana State University.
DOJ- Immigrant and Employee Rights Section IER
Jenna Grambort, IER trial attorney
Jenna Grambort is a Trial Attorney in the Immigrant and Employee Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Prior to joining IER, Jenna worked as a judicial law clerk and as a staff attorney at a legal aid organization. Jenna graduated from Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law, and is admitted to the state bars of California and Colorado.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
Wilfred J. Hebert, Compliance Assistance Specialist
Wilfred J. Hebert has been chosen to represent the U. S. Department of Labor (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Mr. Hebert has 29 years’ experience with OSHA (19 years as a Compliance Safety and Health Officer and 10 years as a Compliance Assistance Specialist) and he has 30 plus years with the U. S. Army as a Military Instructor (Regular and Reservist). Both jobs involve regulatory compliance and require safety and health training.
US DHS –ICE Worksite Enforcement and IMAGE
Jason L. Whitehead, Group Supervisor, Public Safety Unit HSI New Orleans
Louisiana Workforce Commission – Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) unit
Merrill Hess, Workforce Development Officer 5
Merrill Hess has worked for the Louisiana Workforce Commission since 1985. The first few years he worked in a local office providing job placement services. He moved into contract and grant management and program oversight and guidance roles for the succession of Workforce Development programs - JTPA, EDWAA, WIA, WIOA, and partner anti-poverty programs. Other experience included management information systems, monitoring, State rule and program policy development, training, and program development. In 2010 he assumed statewide responsibility the Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) unit. The unit is responsible for the State Workforce Agency operations of the H-2 visa temporary worker programs. He directed the program full time from 2010 until retirement in 2017. Currently, he assists the unit on a part time basis.
Alicia Whitley, Louisiana SWA
Alicia is with the Louisiana Workforce Commission. She works with employers & agencies to facilitate information to the Chicago National Processing Center (CNPC) related to housing Foreign workers. Alicia is involved in the day-to-day responsibilities of the Louisiana SWA. Some of those duties include reviewing job orders, overseeing housing inspections, sending housing approval to the CNPC as well as enforce federal regulations regarding housing for the H2A & H2B programs.
Session A, 10:00am - 10:45am
Session B 11:00am – 11:45am
Session C 12:00pm – 12:45pm
Room 1. WHD | H-2A Provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). This presentation covers the legal obligations of agricultural employers relating to the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) and the H-2A program and relates to the H-2A regulations which became effective on March 15, 2010.
Presented by: Eden Ramirez, Targeted Enforcement Coordinator SW Regional Office
As a Targeted Enforcement Coordinator with the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division - Southwest Regional Office, Eden utilizes his extensive investigative experience to coordinate the region’s agriculture enforcement activities within its territory, which expands across eleven (11) states.
Eden has worked for the Department of Labor – Wage and Hour Division for over twenty-two years (22) where he has served in different capacities; Wage and Hour Investigator, Wage and Hour Team Leader in the New Orleans District Office, Assistant District Director and District Director in the McAllen District Office.
Eden earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley. Eden is fluent in Spanish and volunteers with Friends of the Richardson Public Library, a nonprofit organization
Room 2. WHD |Requirements to Participate in the H-2B Program. This presentation covers the legal obligations of employers relating to the H-2B program
Presented by: Jason Brister, Assistant District Director New Orleans District Office.
Room 3. US DHS –ICE | Compliance with employment eligibility verification requirements, to include the Employment Eligibility Verification Form (Form I-9), and the benefits of membership in the IMAGE Program.
Presented by: Stephen Cole, HSI New Orleans IMAGE Coordinator
Room 4. US DOJ - IER | Avoiding Unlawful Discrimination Based on Citizenship Status and National Origin. This presentation covers the legal obligations of employers relating to the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Among other unlawful conduct, the law prohibits employers from hiring temporary visa holders over qualified and available U.S. workers based on a discriminatory preference for visa workers.
Presented by: Jenna Grambort, IER trial attorney.
Room 5. LWC |
Presented by Alicia Whitley and Merrill Hess
Room 6. OSHA | OSHA inspectors, called compliance safety and health officers, are experienced, well-trained industrial hygienists and safety professionals whose goal is to assure compliance with OSHA requirements and help employers and workers reduce on-the-job hazards and prevent injuries, illnesses, and deaths in the workplace. This session will discuss the inspection procedures.
Presented by: Terri Irvin, Safety and Health Officer/ Wilfred Hebert, Compliance Assistance.
Participating agencies and stakeholders:
DOL- Wage and Hour Division (WHD) | The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for administering a number of statutes that extend various protections to different types of agricultural workers. The coverage and requirements of these statutes may overlap. For more assistance with the requirements of each law, see the sections below. Because the interplay between the laws can be complex, please contact the nearest Wage and Hour District office with specific questions.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) contains Federal minimum wage, overtime, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements for covered agricultural employers.
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping. The MSPA also requires farm labor contractors (FLCs) and farm labor contractor employees (FLCEs) to register with the U.S. Department of Labor and to obtain special authorization before housing, transporting, or driving covered workers.
The H-2A visa program establishes standards related to recruitment, wages, housing, transportation, and recordkeeping for employers of temporary non-immigrant agricultural workers admitted to the country under section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The Field Sanitation Provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act establish minimum standards for covered agricultural settings for toilets, potable drinking water, hand-washing facilities, and for providing information regarding good hygiene practices.
The H-2B nonimmigrant program establishes standards related to recruitment, wages, housing, transportation, and recordkeeping for employers of temporary non-immigrant nonagricultural workers admitted to the country under section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.DOJ- Immigrant and Employee Rights Section IER | The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INAIER)
DOJ- Immigrant and Employee Rights Section IER | The Immigrant and Employee Rights Section (IER), enforces the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INAIER)
US DHS –ICE Worksite Enforcement and IMAGE | The IMAGE program was created in July 2006, as a joint government and private sector initiative designed to build cooperative relationships that strengthen hiring practices and encourage employer compliance to ensure a lawful workforce. Through close coordination and partnership with the private sector, IMAGE seeks to promote principals of ethical business conduct, prevent the hiring of unauthorized workers, and empower employers with a pragmatic immigration compliance strategy.
LWC-Foreign Labor Programs | Foreign Labor Certification Unit provides value-added services to employers looking to hire a non U.S. citizen. The Unit works directly with the National Processing Centers and focuses primarily on screening ETA application forms and conducting housing inspections.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)| OSHA's mission is to "assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance". The agency is also charged with enforcing a variety of whistleblower statutes and regulations.
Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation | The Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general farm organization representing farmers, ranchers and rural residents. We are a private, non-profit, non-governmental agency established in 1922 to bring a voice to agricultural issues.
The American Sugar Cane League of the U.S.A., Inc. | is a non-profit organization of Louisiana sugarcane growers and processors. We are dedicated to supporting the Louisiana sugar industry through research, legislation, product promotion, education and public relations.