(a) To comply with its obligation under § 655.122(l), an employer must offer, advertise in its recruitment, and pay a wage that is the highest of the AEWR, the prevailing hourly wage or piece rate, the agreed-upon collective bargaining wage, or the Federal or State minimum wage, except where a special procedure is approved for an occupation or specific class of agricultural employment.
(i) If the occupation and geographic area were included in the Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Farm Labor Survey (FLS) for wages paid to field and livestock workers (combined) as reported for November 2019:
(A) For the period from December 21, 2020 through calendar year 2022, the AEWR shall be the annual average hourly gross wage for field and livestock workers (combined) in effect on January 2, 2020; and
(B) Beginning calendar year 2023, and annually thereafter, the AEWR shall be adjusted based on the Employment Cost Index (ECI) for wages and salaries published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) for the most recent preceding 12 months.
(ii) If the occupation or geographic area was not included in the USDA FLS for wages paid to field and livestock workers (combined) as reported for November 2019:
(A) The AEWR shall be the statewide annual average hourly gross wage for the occupation if one is reported by the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) survey; or
(B) If no statewide wage for the occupation and geographic area is reported by the OES survey, the AEWR shall be the national average hourly gross wage for the occupation reported by the OES survey.
(iii) The AEWR methodologies described in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (ii) of this section shall apply to all job orders submitted, as set forth in § 655.121, on or after December 21, 2020, including job orders filed concurrently with an Application for Temporary Employment Certification to the NPC for emergency situations under § 655.134.
(2) The OFLC Administrator will publish a notice in the Federal Register , at least once in each calendar year, on a date to be determined by the OFLC Administrator, establishing each AEWR.
(5) If the job duties on the Application for Temporary Employment Certification do not fall within a single occupational classification, the applicable AEWR shall be the highest AEWR for all applicable occupational classifications.
(c) If the prevailing hourly wage rate or piece rate is adjusted during a work contract, and is higher than the highest of the AEWR, the prevailing wage, the agreed-upon collective bargaining wage, or the Federal or State minimum wage, in effect at the time the work is performed, the employer must pay that higher prevailing wage or piece rate, upon notice to the employer by the Department.