News Media Alliance Strongly Opposes DOL Proposal to Remove Print Newspaper Requirement for Employment Notices

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

News Media Alliance Strongly Opposes DOL Proposal to Remove Print Newspaper Requirement for Employment Notices

Government Should Put U.S. Workers First and Not Restrict the Reach of Job Opportunities in Local Communities

December 19, 2018

Arlington, VA – The News Media Alliance today filed comments opposing the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) and the Department of Homeland Security’s proposals to eliminate the requirement that employers notify U.S. workers of available positions through printed advertisements in Sunday newspapers “in the area of intended employment,” and replace them with website ads. The Departments’ proposals would essentially eliminate a proven medium consumed by more than 130 million adults each week – the print newspaper – that is the only means for some workers to access job information.

The Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security jointly released the notice of proposed rulemaking on November 10 that would change the way employers must inform U.S. workers about non-agricultural temporary jobs under the H-2B visa programs under the labor certification program. On the same day, the DOL released a nearly identical notice of proposed rulemaking that would change the labor certification program for seeking foreign agricultural workers under the H-2A visa program.

“Newspapers have long been, and still are, the primary way many millions of U.S. workers receive information, including notices of job opportunities, in their communities,” stated News Media Alliance President & CEO David Chavern. “The Departments’ proposal to change the job posting requirement to online only is based on faulty conclusions about the reach of newspaper media, as well as the availability of internet access in this country. This proposed change would reduce the availability of job notices for the U.S. worker, particularly in rural and low-income communities where the population does not have broadband internet access at home.”

In its written comments (here and here), the Alliance provided examples where internet notices have not been seen, and therefore, U.S. citizens have not been informed. The Alliance also provided several examples of how the newspaper, as a trusted, verifiable, local third-party partner ensures the broadest delivery of recruitment ads within a local community. The Departments acknowledge that many newspapers post recruitment ads on social media, job boards and on recruitment websites, extending the reach of the print requirement, but are still proposing to eliminate this most important medium that assures this reach.

In addition, newspapers have the staff and the experience to partner with employers to advance the statutory objective of ensuring “that the maximum number of U.S. workers learn about job opportunities” before these jobs are given to foreign workers and can provide the necessary proof of publication (through tear sheets, affidavits, etc.) to help employers demonstrate compliance.

If the Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security truly want to put Americans first and serve U.S. workers, they will continue to require print advertising for temporary jobs. If the Departments make any change, it should be to require employers seeking to hire H-2B and H-2A workers to use both print and online media to ensure the broadest reach of a notice as possible.

For more on this topic, view the Op-Ed by Alliance President & CEO David Chavern, “Tell the DOL to Put American Workers First and Save the Print Requirement for Temporary Job Listings.”

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The News Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization representing more than 2,000 news organizations and their multiplatform businesses in the United States and globally. Alliance members include print, digital and mobile publishers of original news content. Headquartered near Washington, D.C., in Arlington, Va., the association focuses on ensuring the future of news media through communication, research, advocacy and innovation. Information about the News Media Alliance (formerly NAA) can be found at www.newsmediaalliance.org.

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