U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, has introduced H.J. Res. 104, a joint resolution that would show Congress's disapproval of a new regulation being imposed by the Department of Labor (DOL) on employers who participate in the H-2B program to fill labor shortages. This Congressional Resolution of Disapproval would prevent the rule from being implemented.
Recently, DOL finalized a rule that would significantly increase costs and burdens placed on American small businesses that utilize the H-2B program. Among the numerous provisions of this rule are a requirement that each H-2B worker must receive a minimum of three-fourths of his offered wage for each 12-week period he is employed, even if he does not work at least three-fourths of that time due to weather or other unforeseen factors. Additionally, it would require employers to pay transportation and subsistence costs to and from the workplace for workers hired under the H-2B program. Many small businesses that use H-2B labor simply cannot afford to comply with these regulations, and as a result will be unable to fill labor shortages--which could put American jobs at risk.
"This is just another example of a government bureaucracy in Washington overstepping its authority on an issue it doesn't truly understand, and as a result American small businesses suffer," Alexander stated.
Last year Alexander introduced legislation (H.R. 3162) to shield small businesses from proposed H-2B regulations. Before Christmas, Alexander was successful in delaying one regulation through his position as Vice-Chairman of the Labor, Health, Human Services and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee; however, DOL is now seeking to impose additional regulations that Alexander is working to defeat through his new legislation.
Alexander further stated, "Our small businesses deserve much better than what this rule will do to them. I will continue to fight the Department of Labor on this issue, and I will work with my colleagues to push this legislation through Congress."
H.J. Res. 104 has fourteen original cosponsors, including four--Reps. Steve Scalise (LA-01), Jeff Landry (LA-03), Bill Cassidy (LA-06), and Charles Boustany (LA-07)--from the Louisiana delegation.