HERNDON, Va.-The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) is funding a new lawsuit being brought in the Northern District of Florida to stop the implementation of the new U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) H-2B program rule. The DOL released the rule this past Feb. 21.

If rule, expected to take April 23, 2012, will require employers to hire any qualified U.S. worker up to 21 days before an H-2B worker is scheduled to begin, even if the employer has already offered the job to an H-2B worker. And this after an employer has gone to the trouble and expense associated with that worker’s visa process, transportation and housing. 

PLANET sees this new lawsuit–seeking a preliminary injunction as the pending H-2B wage rule–as the best chance of preventing the program rule from taking effect. The proposed rule would also involve labor unions in the hiring process and would require employers to pay transportation and subsistence costs for potential U.S.
 workers who are employed for at least 50 percent of the season. In addition, the rule includes provisions requiring employers to pay workers with "corresponding employment" duties similar wages.

PLANET is asking for financial support from the green industry to help pay for this new lawsuit.  Says Tom Delaney, PLANET’s director of government affairs: "If you ever want to use the H-2B program in the future, your funds are needed to fight to keep the program functional."

Those wishing to support the litigation can email Delaney at tomdelaney@landcarenetwork.org or call him at 800-395-2522 for information about how to make a contribution..