On May 29, 2009, USDOL announced that it will move to suspend the new rules guiding the H2A program that were implemented in January of 2009.
The suspension will be effective June 29, 2009 and the “old rules” will go back in to effect… And for your convenience USDOL has published a new Adverse Effect Wage Rate (AEWR) to be used in conjunction with the old 1987 rules.
If an employer files an application prior to the suspension on June 29th, that application will be subject to the new rules. Any application that is filed post suspension will be subject to the old 1987 rules and the new AEWR.
Among many problems this suspension will ultimately cause, is the issue of an employer having groups of employees that are subject to different sets of regulations. Our prediction and the prediction of most in the industry is that this issue will most likely cause unrest on the farm but USDOL doesn’t make any apology for that in their press announcements or their announcement in the Federal Register. USDOL recommends and “expects” you to segregate the required paperwork.
See USDOL’s Frequently Asked Questions about the suspension here.
See USDOL’s suspension announcement in the Federal Register here.