The landscaping industry took on the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) and got an injunction against DOL enforcing rules about H2B visas. The case is Bayou Law & Landscape Services, et al. v. Sec. of Labor, et al., No. 12-12462 (11th Cir. Apr. 1, 2013) http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/201212462.pdf. The District Court had enjoined enforcement of DOL’s rules for the H-2B program, which governs the immigration of non-agricultural workers. Although the statute gives DOL rule-making authority over the agricultural worker (“H-2A”) program, it doesn’t give DOL authority over the H-2B program. The DOL only provides advice to Homeland Security for the H-2B program. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed — the DOL can’t bootstrap its role as a consultant into that of a co-equal rulemaker.
This case was decided on the issue of a preliminary injunction, so the court’s ruling is only the probable outcome for the case, but still, this is a rare victory for an industry against a government agency. Congratulations, landscapers!