H-2B Returning Worker Exemption Act​

H-2B Returning Worker Exemption Act
Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it had received requests for more than 136,000 H-2B workers and there are only 33,000 available under the congressionally authorized statutory cap. Many hotels rely on the H-2B program to augment their domestic workforce during their peak season to ensure they can operate at full capacity. With ongoing concerns due to OMICRON and COVID-19 pandemic, combined with an acute workforce shortage, access to H-2B visas are more crucial now than ever before especially for the lodging industry. 
The recently introduced H-2B Returning Worker Exemption Act would provide a returning worker exemption and increased integrity measures to strengthen the H-2B visa program. Act now to urge your representative to co-sponsor the H-2B Returning Worker Exemption Act.

Most Restaurants Understaffed in December

Most Restaurants Understaffed in December
Restaurant employment continued to trend higher in December, but overall staffing levels remained well below pre-pandemic readings. Eating and drinking places added a net 42,600 jobs in December. The industry is roughly 650,000 jobs below pre-pandemic staffing levels. Read the full analysis from our federal partner, the National Restaurant Association.

Tip Credit/Dual Jobs Regulation

Tip Credit/Dual Jobs Regulation
The Department of Labor’s new dual jobs regulation that took effect December 28 states that restaurants cannot take a tip credit for the time spent on tasks considered “directly supporting work” that exceeds 20% of the workweek or 30 continuous minutes. Last November, the Restaurant Law Center filed an emergency lawsuit challenging the regulation and asking for an immediate injunction. It is expected that the court will allow the new regulations to remain in effect until February.
It is important to continue to take steps to comply with the new rules. Actions to consider taking include:
  • Conducting an audit of the job duties performed by your tipped employees.
  • Training managers on the new requirements.
  • Implementing new policies and procedures on side work.
  • Changing staffing model to hire new staff to perform side work tasks.
  • Adopting new timekeeping protocols for tipped employees.

Statement of Vermont Chamber on Governor’s Budget Address

Statement of Vermont Chamber on Governor’s Budget Address

Montpelier, VT (January 18, 2022) – The following statement can be attributed to Vermont Chamber of Commerce President, Betsy Bishop:

“We are encouraged by the Governor’s significant emphasis on workforce development in today’s remarks, and the commitment to a number of shared priorities to address the biggest challenge facing Vermont. Of the 2022 Vermont Chamber priorities issued prior to the legislative session, each area of investment would play a key role to address Vermont’s demographic challenge.

The strong economic future of our state, and the viability of our workforce, depends on our ability to invest in Vermonters and attract a diverse new population. Many initiatives presented today recognize this dual need.

Investments in childcare and housing, particularly in the available stock for the ‘missing middle’ are vital for Vermont to grow and retain our workforce. Additionally, relocation initiatives and the strengthening of trade education are essential efforts to secure a strong future for Vermont.”

About the Vermont Chamber of Commerce

The largest statewide, private, not-for-profit business organization, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce represents every sector of the state’s business community. Its mission is to create an economic climate conducive to business growth and the preservation of the Vermont quality of life.