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Horse Racing Industry

Based on visits to race tracks, communications with employers and workers and guidance from the Chicago National Processing Center, the New York State Department of Labor's Foreign labor Certification Unit is providing the following recommendations to agents and employers submitting H-2B job order applications:

Employers should begin the process by obtaining Prevailing Wage Determinations for every location where H-2B workers will be employed (Form ETA 9141). For example, employers should obtain prevailing wage determinations for Nassau County (Belmont Race Track), Saratoga County (Saratoga Race Track) and Queens County (Aqueduct Race Track) if H-2B workers will work at all locations.

Employers should file in one of two ways:

  • One request for prevailing wages (ETA Form 9141), one application (ETA Form 9142B) and one job order (FL 515) including all intended worksites. In this instance, the employer would be required to pay the highest of the wages determined among all the worksites for the duration of the contract.
  • Separate requests for prevailing wages, applications and job orders with different dates of need for each intended worksite.With separate Prevailing Wage Determinations, applications, and job orders, the employer could pay the specific wage rate determined for each worksite during the different periods of need.

Employers should have separate job orders for the different backstretch jobs, i.e. hot walker, grooms, and assistant trainers. Job descriptions should reflect the accurate duties, hours, and pay for the job title.

Employers should disclose the overtime rate, even if they do not expect overtime will be worked.

Employers should disclose "optional housing may be provided free of charge" in the backstretch.

Employers should disclose any additional duties or potential non-discretionary bonus. For example, "1% of any winning purse will be paid out to workers in the following week's paycheck" or "$50 paid to a worker that walks a horse to the start gate will be paid out in the following week's paycheck."

The Foreign labor Certification Unit will work with agents and employers to ensure H-2B job orders are accurate and compliant with State and Federal law. General job descriptions that do not reflect accurate working and living conditions will be issued a notice of deficiency.

As a general reminder, all qualified domestic workers who apply for these jobs should be interviewed and hired. All domestic workers performing the same duties as H-2B Foreign Guest Workers must be paid the same (or higher) wage rates.

If you have any questions regarding these recommendations, please feel free to contact us at 877-466-9757 or [email protected].


New York State Labor Law - Information for Racetrack Workers

As a racetrack worker in New York State, you have a right to:

  • Be paid for all hours that you work.
  • Be paid on the same day each week.
  • Be paid at least the NYS Minimum Wage rate.
  • Be paid overtime for all hours worked over 40 in a week.
  • Receive a pay stub with each payment of wages.

These videos provide information for grooms, hot walkers and practice riders. They are presented in English and Spanish. They are also available as slideshow presentations in PDF format.

Slideshow presentations:

NYS Labor Law for Racetrack Workers (English) (PDF)

Legislación Laboral del Estado de Nueva York (Español) (PDF)

"Help for Racetrack Workers" Resource Card and Poster

The Department of Labor created a wallet-sized resource card and a poster that describe the rights of racetrack workers in New York State. They also give information on how to get help with work-related complaints and potential labor violations. Both are written in English and Spanish. You can download them from this page or request copies through our online request form.

Help for Racetrack Workers - Resource Card (PDF). The card folds to 2" x 3 1/2" and can easily fit in a wallet or pocket.

Help for Racetrack Workers - Poster (PDF). The poster measures 11" x 17".

Brochure for Employers of Racetrack Workers

The Department of Labor also created a brochure that summaries the responsibilities of employers of racetrack workers. It is written in English and Spanish. You can download What Employers of Racetrack Workers in NYS Need to Know from this page or request copies of the brochure through our online request form.

Additional Resources for Employers of Racetrack Workers

We can come to your place of employment to make a presentation to management and workers. To schedule a presentation, contact us by email at [email protected] or through our online request form.


Sexual Harassment Prevention

For information and resources to help business owners comply with New York's new sexual harassment prevention regulations, visit our page on combating sexual harassment in the workplace


Learn more about the Division of Immigrant Policies and Affairs.

Comments or questions?

Phone: 877-466-9757

Email: [email protected]

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