DOL Notice of Proposed Suspension of New H-2A Regulations

The Department of Labor (DOL) proposes to suspend for nine months the H–2A regulations published on December 18, 2008, which became effective on January 17, 2009. The amended rules—implemented in the closing days of the Bush administration—were intended to make it easier for agricultural employers to hire foreign workers on a temporary or seasonal basis to fill agricultural jobs where U.S. workers were unavailable. The sweeping changes to the H-2A regulations have proven to be difficult for the DOL to implement.

The January 17, 2009 Final Rules are being suspended for several reasons including: (1) lack of sufficient resources at the DOL to implement the Final Rule and (2) processing delays due to the anticipated influx of applications with the upcoming growing season. The proposed suspension is open for comment for 10 days. If a suspension of the rules occurs, the rules in effect prior to January 17, 2009 will be reinstated. Written comments will only be considered as to whether the DOL should suspend the December 18, 2008 final rule for further review and consideration of issues that have developed since the final rule’s publication. Comments regarding the substance or merits of the final rule will not be considered. Comments may be submitted before March 27, 2009. Comments may be made on the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal at

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.