The Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration has postponed for 60 days the effective date for the final rule on wage methodology for the H-2B temporary nonagricultural employment program. The effective date will be November 30, 2011. The department said the delay will permit various courts involved in ongoing litigation concerning the rule’s implementation to determine the appropriate venue for resolution of all claims and allow the department to avoid the possibility of administering the H-2B program under potentially conflicting court orders.
The department explained that it published a final rule on January 19, 2011, revising the wage methodology for the H-2B program and setting the effective date of the wage rule as January 1, 2012. On June 16, 2011, in response to a challenge, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania invalidated that date and ordered the department to announce a new effective date within 45 days. In response to that order, the department issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on June 28, 2011, which proposed that the wage rule take effect 60 days from the date of publication of a final rule. After a period of public comment, the department published a final rule on August 1, 2011, which set the new effective date for the wage rule as September 30, 2011, without altering the substance of the rule. With the new postponement, the effective date is now set for November 30, 2011.