More H-2B updates Email
Thursday, July 09, 2015 07:58 AM

H-2B visa legislation updateNew H-2B Rules:
Prior to the July 4 recess, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its version of the fiscal 2016 Department of Labor Appropriations bill. No amendments were offered to try to strike the beneficial H-2B language included in the bill. The bill includes language that would:

            • Address H-2B wages and allow the use of private wage surveys, which are not allowed under the new final H-2B wage rule;
            • Clearly define seasonal as ten months, as opposed to the nine months in the new interim final H-2B comprehensive rule;
            • Prevent DOL from implementing the provisions of the interim final rule related to corresponding employment and the ¾ guarantee;
            • Prevent DOL from implementing the new and burdensome DOL enforcement scheme in the IFR related to audit and the Certifying Officer (CO) assisted recruitment; and
            • Allow for the staggered crossing of seafood H-2B employees. 

If you want the full bill text for this section, contact Kristen Fefes.

House DHS Funding Bill. Good news this week -- the draft House Homeland Security Subcommittee funding bill for fiscal year 2016 includes a 1-year returning worker exemption for FY 16. This is a very important first step in the DHS appropriations process. Thanks to everyone who reached out to their lawmakers. Please keep up the dialogue with your elected officials and on social media. There are still several steps in the appropriations process before this provision could make it to the President's desk this fall. As you know, the Senate version of this bill does not include the measure. Both bills still need to be passed by their respective Chamber,s and then the House and Senate need to agree on and pass a final version of the funding bill.

Bayou II Appeal. As you know, there are attorneys working on the appeal for Bayou II & they are asking the H-2B community participate in the appeal to protect the District Court's ruling that DOL lacks unilateral rule making authority in the H-2B context. Having the Court's decision reversed on appeal would be a tremendous win for DOL and could have far-reaching consequences for employers that rely on the H-2B program in that DOL could unilaterally replace the 2015 rule at any time without interagency agreement from DHS. If anyone is interested in helping fund the appeal (ALCC has supported this financially), please contact Kristen Fefes, who will get you in touch with the right folks.