On July 29, 2011, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) National Prevailing Wage Center has temporarily suspended processing of prevailing wage determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews. Prevailing wage determinations must be filed in connection with all labor certification applications (PERM) for permanent resident status and H-2B seasonal temporary workers, and, in a few instances, H-1B specialty occupation petitions. Delays in processing prevailing wage requests may affect the processing times for these types of cases.

Background

The reason for the delay is to comply with a court order issued by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that stems from the August 30, 2010 decision in CATA v. Solis. To comply with the court’s initial ruling in CATA v. Solis, DOL issued revised prevailing wage regulations (Wage Rule) on January 18, 2011.1  However, the new rule only applied to wages paid for work performed on or after January 1, 2012. This year-long delay in implementing the new Wage Rule would require the continued payment of a lower, invalid wage to H-2B workers. Therefore, a court order was issued on June 15, 2011, giving DOL 45 days to announce a new effective date of the Wage Rule. On August 1, 2011, DOL published a final rule setting an effective date of September 30, 2011 for the Wage Rule. DOL is now in the process of reissuing certain H-2B prevailing wage determinations to comply with a court order. All OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this order.

Effect on Pending and To-Be-Filed Prevailing Wage Requests

The scope and duration of the delays is uncertain at this time. Processing of pending prevailing wage requests will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed. DOL is also encouraging requestors to continue to file new prevailing wage requests during this suspension period.