Congress has passed an Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R.2055) that in addition to funding most federal agencies for the remainder of the 2012 fiscal year (October 1, 2011 to September 31, 2012) will prohibit the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing a new wage rule for the H-2B program. The new wage rule is opposed by the American Horse Council (AHC) and other H-2B users and would have gone into effect on January 1, 2012. The wage rule, in most instances, would have increased the hourly wage that must be paid to all current and future H-2B workers and American workers recruited in connection with an H-2B job application. More information on the wage rule can be found on the AHC website.
The Omnibus bill combined the remaining nine Appropriations bills, including: Defense, Energy and Water, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Interior/Environment, Labor/Health and Human Services/Education, the Legislative Branch, Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, and State/Foreign Operations. The bill concludes the FY 2012 appropriations process and makes certain the government will operate until September 31st.
The Labor/Health and Human Services/Education title of the bill specifically prohibits the DOL from using any funds to implement or enforce the new wage rule for the 2012 fiscal year.
The President is expected to sign the bill into law shortly.
If you have any questions regarding this, please call the AHC.