U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, announced that on April 26 a U.S. District Court in Pensacola, Fla., issued a preliminary injunction, which prohibits the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from enforcing rules which would impose a devastating financial and administrative burden on thousands of American small businesses that utilize the H-2B program. The programmatic rule was scheduled to go into effect today. Countless businesses in Louisiana, especially those in the forestry, landscaping, and seafood industries, rely heavily upon the H-2B program to fill labor shortages in order to sustain permanent American jobs.
Alexander, who has two pieces of pending legislation in Congress to protect businesses from these rules (H.R. 3162 and H.J. Res. 104), was successful last fall in halting one of DOL's H-2B rules that would have inflated H-2B workers' wages at employers' expense. Fortunately, this court decision halts both of DOL's rules, providing much-needed relief to businesses that are already overburdened by government regulation. In the ruling, Judge M. Casey Rodgers stated that DOL issued these rules without proper authority.
"I applaud the court's ruling, which recognizes that DOL clearly overstepped its bounds by making these rules. Not only will this ruling protect American jobs from being lost, it will also spare small businesses from even more regulatory burdens from an administration that is clearly not interested in saving or creating jobs in this country," Alexander said.
In recent months, the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Office of Advocacy, dozens of members of Congress, and countless small businesses across the U.S. have voiced their wholehearted disapproval of DOL's plans to impose these burdens on the H-2B program. Despite the opposition, DOL still moved to implement these rules.