The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), in an effort to support green industry companies that use the H-2B program, joined together with other interested parties and initiated two lawsuits in the Northern District of Florida against the new H-2B wage rule and the H-2B program rule that were released by the Department of Labor (DOL). PLANET announced that, on April 26, the judge in the case, Judge M. Casey Rodgers of the U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida Pensacola Division, issued a preliminary injunction preventing the Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing the program rule. While the ruling was issued in Florida, the decision applies nationwide.
The should also impact the DOL’s plans to implement the wage rule which is currently blocked by Congress from taking affect until September 30, 2012.
PLANET Attorney Richard Lehr noted that Judge Rogers relied extensively on the sworn statement from PLANET CEO Sabeena Hickman, detailing the serious harm the DOL’s H-2B changes would cause to PLANET members.
PLANET Director of Government Affairs Tom Delaney said that PLANET does expect the DOL to appeal the decision, but any legal challenge will most likely take months to play out before a final decision is issued. In the meantime, the H-2B program will continue to be a viable program for landscape contractors across the country.