WASHINGTON (June 15, 2021) – After the introduction of the Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021, American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) Executive Vice President of Government Affairs Brian Crawford released the following statement today in support of the bill.
“As lodging industry employers around the nation grapple with labor shortages, a steady stream of prospective employees is key to bringing back the jobs wiped out due to the pandemic. Our members always look first to the U.S. workforce to fill critical job functions during peak seasons, but the H-2B program is a valuable tool for small businesses that rely on temporary seasonal employees,” said Brian Crawford, Executive Vice President of Government Affairs at the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Co-Chair of the H-2B Workforce Coalition. “We commend Representatives Cuellar, Joyce, Keating, Pingree, Chabot, and Harris for introducing this bipartisan legislation that provides clarity and much-needed reforms to the H-2B program.”
The Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021 is designed to reform the H-2B program by exempting returning workers from an antiquated cap, ensuring that small and seasonal businesses are able to fulfill their labor needs and contribute to our nation’s post-pandemic economic recovery. The bill would also improve efficiencies with the application process and require the Department of Labor to maintain a publicly accessible online job registry. Finally, the legislation would strengthen program integrity measures and anti-fraud provisions to protect both American workers and H-2B workers.
The H-2B Workforce Coalition, an alliance of more than 40 industry associations focused on protecting American workers by ensuring American small and seasonal employers have access to legal short-term temporary employees during peak business periods also supports the bill.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the U.S. lodging industry. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AHLA focuses on strategic advocacy, communications support and workforce development programs to move the industry forward. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality was the first industry impacted, and it will be among the last to recover. That is why AHLA is committed to promoting safe travel while also creating a standardized safety experience nationwide through the Safe Stay initiative. With an enhanced set of health and safety protocols designed to provide a safe and clean environment for all hotel guests and employees, hotels across America are ready to welcome back travelers when they are ready to travel. Learn more at www.ahla.com.