Hotels in the USA are facing severe shortage of manpower as the Covid-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on many areas of the hospitality industry. As a result various people from the industry are calling for the passing of Returning Worker Exception Act of 2021, which could allow hotels to hire guest workers from other countries.
This proposal was introduced few days back and could reform the H-2B visa program by exempting workers from an antiquated cap. According to the bill as currently written, it amends the definition of “returning worker” to include anyone who has entered the U.S. on an H-2B visa in any one of the three previous years.
This could ensure that many small businesses could hire workers to fulfill their labor needs. During these tough times when the entire hospitality industry is struggling with labor shortage, this bill, if passed, could be a real boon and bring a huge sigh of relief.
The act would implement several improvements to the H-2B application process. If hotels are able to find the manpower they need, it could lead to speedy recovery of the hospitality industry, which in turn could contribue to the recovery of the nation’s economy.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) welcomed the Returning Worker Exception Act and stated that a steady stream of prospective employees is important to bring back the jobs which were wiped out due to the pandemic.
Brian Crawford, EVP, Government affairs, AHLA, who is also co-chair of the H-2B Workforce Coalition, released the following statement 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”.