(f) Cultural exchange
(1) Sponsors must ensure that all participants have opportunities to work alongside U.S. citizens and interact regularly with U.S. citizens to experience U.S. culture
during the workday portion of their Summer Work Travel programs; and (2) Sponsors must ensure that all
participants have opportunities to engage in cultural activities or events outside of work by planning, initializing, and carrying out events or other activities that provide participants’ exposure to U.S. culture.
(g) Participant placement
(1) Sponsors and third parties acting on their behalf may not pay or otherwise provide any incentive to employers to accept program participants for job placements with such employers.
(2) Sponsors must confirm initial, replacement, and additional jobs placements of all Summer Work Travel Program participants before participants may start work by verifying, at a minimum, the terms and conditions of such employment and fully vetting their host employers as set forth at paragraph (n) of this section. Once participants have arrived in the United States and identified initial, replacement, or additional jobs, sponsors must vet such jobs within 72 hours.
(3) Sponsors must not pose obstacles to job changes, but must offer reasonable assistance to participants wishing to change jobs regardless of whether their jobs were secured by the sponsors (direct-placed) or by the participants (self-placed).
(4) Sponsors may place participants only in jobs that:
(i) Are seasonal or temporary as defined in paragraph (b) of this section; and
(ii) Provide opportunities for regular communication and interaction with U.S. citizens and allow participants to experience U.S. culture.
(5) Sponsors may not place participants in jobs:
(i) That require licensing;
(ii) That are on the program exclusion list set forth at paragraph (h) of this section; or
(iii) For which there is another specific J visa category (e.g., Camp Counsellor, Trainee, Intern).
(6) Sponsors may not place participants with staffing agencies unless the placements meet the following three criteria:
(i) Participants must be employees of and paid by the staffing agencies;
(ii) Staffing agencies must provide full-time, primary, on-site supervision of the participants;
(iii) Staffing agencies must effectively control the work sites, e.g., have hands- on management responsibility for the participants.
(7) Sponsors may not place participants with employers that fill non-seasonal or non-temporary job
openings with exchange visitors with staggered vacation schedules.
(8) Sponsors must use extra caution when placing students in positions at employers in lines of business that are frequently associated with trafficking persons (e.g., modelling agencies, housekeeping, janitorial services).
(9) Sponsors must consider the availability of suitable, affordable housing (e.g., that meets local codes and ordinances) and reliable, affordable, and convenient transportation to and from work when making job placements.
(i) If employers do not provide or arrange housing and/or transportation, or if participants decline employer- provided housing or transportation, sponsors must actively and immediately assist participants with arranging appropriate housing and transportation.
(ii) If employers provide housing and/ or transportation to and from work, job offers must include details of all such arrangements, including the cost to participants; whether such arrangements deduct such costs from participants’ wages; and the market value of housing and/or transportation in accordance with the Fair Labour Standards Act regulations set forth at 29 CFR part 531, if they are considered part of the compensation packages.
Sponsors must not place participants:
(1) In positions that could bring notoriety or disrepute to the Exchange Visitor Program;
(2) In sales positions that require participants to purchase inventory that they must sell in order to support themselves;
(3) In domestic help positions in private homes (e.g., child care, elder care, gardener, chauffeur);
(4) As pedicab or rolling chair drivers or operators;
(5) As operators or drivers of vehicles or vessels for which drivers’ licenses are required regardless of whether they carry passengers or not;
(6) In positions related to clinical care that involves patient contact;
(7) In any position in the adult entertainment industry (including, but not limited to jobs with escort services, adult book/video stores, and strip clubs);
(8) In positions requiring work hours that fall predominantly between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.;
(9) In positions declared hazardous to youth by the Secretary of Labour at Sub part E of 29 CFR part 570;
(10) In positions that require sustained physical contact with other people and/or adherence to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s Universal Blood and Body Fluid Precautions guidelines (e.g., body piercing, tattooing, massage, manicure);
(11) In positions that are substantially commission-based and thus do not guarantee that participants will be paid minimum wage in accordance with federal and state standards;
(12) In positions involved in gaming and gambling that include direct participation in wagering and/or betting;
(13) In positions in chemical pest control, warehousing, catalogue/online order distribution centres;
(14) In positions with travelling fairs or itinerant concessionaires;
(15) In positions for which there is another specific J category (e.g., camp counsellor, intern, trainee); or
(16) After November 1, 2012, in positions in the North American Industry Classification System’s (NAICS) Goods-Producing Industries occupational categories industry sectors 11, 21, 23, 31–33 numbers (set forth at http://www.bls.gov/iag/tgs/iag_index_naics.htm).
(1) Sponsors must inform program participants of Federal, State, and Local Minimum Wage requirements, and ensure that at a minimum, participants are compensated at the higher of:
(i) The applicable Federal, State, or Local Minimum Wage (including overtime); or
(ii) Pay and benefits commensurate with those offered to their similarly situated U.S. counterparts.
(2) Sponsors must demonstrate that participants are also compensated according to the above standards in the following (and similar) situations:
(i) The host employers provide housing and/or transportation as part of participants’ compensation, but the compensation package does not explain that the lower hourly wage reflects such benefits; or
(ii) The employers compensate participants on a ‘‘piece’’ basis (e.g., number of rooms cleaned). If at the end of each pay period, the participant’s earnings under the piece rate do not equal at least the amount the participant would have earned had the participant been paid the predominant local wage as provided in sub paragraph (1), the participant’s pay must be supplemented at that time so that the participant’s earnings are at least as much as the required local wage as provided in sub paragraph (1).
(3) Sponsors must ensure that appropriate assistance is provided to participants on an as-needed basis and that sponsors are available to participants (and host employers) to assist as facilitators, counsellors, and information resources.
Host company vetting procedure:
Sponsors must ensure that potential host employers are legitimate and reputable businesses by, at a minimum:
(i) Making direct contact in person or by telephone with potential employers to verify the business owners’ and/or managers’ names, telephone numbers, email addresses, street addresses, and professional activities;
(ii) Utilizing publicly available information, for example, but not limited to, state registries, advertisements, brochures, Web sites, and/or feedback from prior participants to confirm that all job offers have been made by viable business entities;
(iii) Obtaining potential host employers’ Employer Identification Numbers and copies of their current business licenses; and
(iv) Verifying the potential host employers’ Worker’s Compensation Insurance Policy or equivalent in each state where a participant will be placed or, if applicable, evidence of that state’s exemption from requirement of such coverage.
(3) At the beginning of each placement season, sponsors must confirm:
(i) The number of job placements available with host employers;
(ii) That host employers will not displace domestic U.S. workers at work sites where they will place program participants; and
(iii) That host employers have not experienced layoffs in the past 120 days and do not have workers on lockout or on strike.
Host employers cooperation:
Sponsors may place participants only with host employers that agree to:
(1) Make good faith efforts to provide participants the number of hours of paid employment per week as identified on their job offers and agreed to when the sponsors vetted the jobs;
(2) Pay eligible participants for overtime worked in accordance with applicable State or Federal law;
(3) Notify sponsors promptly when participants arrive at the work sites to begin their programs; when there are any changes or deviations in the job placements during the participants’ programs; when participants are not meeting the requirements of their job placements; or when participants leave their positions ahead of their planned departures;
(4) Contact sponsors immediately in the event of any emergency involving participants or any situations that impact their health, safety, or welfare; and
(5) In those instances when the employer provides housing or transportation, agree to provide suitable and acceptable accommodations and/or reliable, affordable, and convenient transportation.