Guest farmworkers will see pay increases in 2022 thanks to a lawsuit to stop a Trump-era wage freeze.
President Trump proposed the freeze in an attempt to help farmers who lost profit and fallowed land during the pandemic shutdown in 2020. But farmworker advocates sued the Department of Agriculture to stop the freeze from taking effect.
Tens of thousands of California’s guest farmworkers and U.S. farmworkers will see pay increases in 2022, which advocates say comes thanks to their lawsuit to stop a Trump-era wage freeze.
The wage increase is based on the USDA’s annual survey findings on farm labor, released on Nov. 24. The survey and its findings are used to determine the rate of pay for temporary, seasonal agricultural workers employed through the H-2A program.
The wage increase was in jeopardy because of a wage freeze proposed under former President Donald Trump that aimed to help farmers, many of whom lost profit and laid fallow their land due to the impact of the shutdowns in early 2020. Farmworker advocates sued the Department of Agriculture over the proposed wage freeze and secured an injunction to stop the ruling.
“We are pleased that the federal court overturned the Trump Administration’s regulation that would have frozen wages for U.S. and foreign farmworkers at employers that use the H-2A agricultural guestworker program,” said Bruce Goldstein, president of the Washington D.C.-based Farmworker Justice, in an email statement to The Fresno Bee.