Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services, et al. v. Hilda A. Solis

H-2B Wage Rule Case Dismissed

U.S. Chamber's Position: 

NCLC urged the court to enjoin the Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing a new rule that would radically alter the formula for determining wages employers must pay temporary alien workers under the H-2B visa program. In its amicus brief, NCLC argues that DOL’s regulations are invalid because Congress did not authorize DOL to issue new wage methodologies that are retroactively applied, regardless of a worker’s experience, education, or other relevant factors. Furthermore, even if Congress had given the Secretary of Labor authority to promulgate the new wage methodology rule, there is clearly no statutory basis for DOL to apply its new methodology to workers employed under H-2B visas approved by DHS prior to the effective date of the new rule. Finally, the new methodology adopted by DOL is inconsistent with the Immigration and Nationality Act, which requires that a tiered system be used for calculating wages. By using the highest wage rate available as a single-level “prevailing rate,” the DOL would be imposing a one-size-fits-all wage structure that would cost jobs and harm businesses.

Case Outcome: 

The case was ultimately dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Procedural History: 

NCLC amicus brief filed 9/28/2011.  The Court held a telephone status conference on 5/13/2014 due to legislative and regulatory developments that affected the 2011 wage rule.  On 9/30/2014, the case was sua sponte dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.