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DOL Notice on Process Change for H-2B Labor Certifications

DOL published notice in the Federal Register on a change to the Office of Foreign Labor Certification’s (OFLC) process for issuing final H-2B labor certification decisions for applications with a start date of need between April 1 and September 30, 2018.

OSC Publishes TAL on Replacing U.S. Workers with Temporary Contract Workers

DOJ’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) recently released a Technical Assistance Letter (TAL) with guidance on whether an employer may, consistent with the anti-discrimination provision in INA §274B(a)(1)(B), terminate U.S. workers and rely on contract workers with temporary work visas to perform the work previously done by the terminated U.S. workers. The letter states, “Except in very narrow circumstances, an employer violates the anti-discrimination provision if it terminates workers or hires their replacements because of citizenship or immigration status.” The letter also lists several factors that may be considered in determining whether an employer has in fact violated the anti-discrimination provision in such cases.

DOL and DHS Announce New Joint Rules for the H-2B Program

DOL and DHS released advance copies of two new joint rules on H-2Bs that are scheduled to be published tomorrow and will take effect immediately. The first is an interim final rule governing the certification of employment of H-2B workers and the enforcement of obligations applicable to H-2B employers. Comments are due within 60 days of publication. The second is a final rule governing the H-2B Wage Methodology. As background, on March 4, 2015, a federal district court vacated the DOL’s 2008 H-2B regulations on the ground that DOL lacked authority under the INA to issue regulations in the H-2B program. A subsequent temporary stay and extension followed, allowing the DOL to continue processing H-2B cases through May 15, 2015.

District Court Grants DOL an Extension for the H-2B Program

On April 15, 2015, the federal district court for the Northern District of Florida issued an order effectively permitting DOL to continue issuing H-2B labor certifications under its 2008 H-2B regulations through May 15, 2015.

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