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    June 21, 2012. New Prevailing Wage FAQs.

    The Department of Labor has posted new and revised FAQs for the prevailing wage program. Topics include occupation-specific issues, the documentation of an affiliated or related nonprofit entity, and the issuance of hourly wages. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading Prevailing Wage (PERM, H-2B, H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3).

    June 20, 2012. Chicago National Processing Center Address Change.

    The Department published today a Notice in the Federal Register announcing an address change for the Chicago National Processing Center (NPC), effective August 2. On and after August 2, 2012, all hard copy filings should be submitted to the new addresses.

    For application filings:
    U.S. Department of Labor
    Employment and Training Administration
    Office of Foreign Labor Certification
    Chicago National Processing Center
    11 West Quincy Court
    Chicago, IL 60604-2105

    P.O. Box Address for the Receipt of H-2A Related Filing Fees:
    U.S. Department of Labor
    Employment and Training Administration
    Office of Foreign Labor Certification
    Chicago National Processing Center
    P.O. Box A3804
    Chicago, IL 60690-A3804.

    To read the Notice please click here.

    June 12, 2012. FY 2012 Selected Statistics by Program.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has posted five factsheets containing the FY 2012 selected statistics for the

    The program information included in the factsheets covers the period between October 2011 and May 2012.

    June 11, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and the placement of job orders. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading "Job Order".

    June 8, 2012.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and LCA program disclosure data files for Quarter 2 of FY 2012 are now available in the Comma-Separated Value (CSV) file format. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

    May 29, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and entering fractional year values (1.75, .5, etc) in Section H, Item 8-C of ETA Form 9089. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading Job Requirements/Duties.

    May 29, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and the use of third-party software to upload applications for permanent labor certifications in the OFLC Case Management System. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading "Filing - How to File."

    May 23, 2012. H-2A Filing Tips, Selected Statistics and Forms.

    In a continued effort to assist H-2A employers with preparing their agricultural job orders and applications, the Department has revised the H-2A Filing Tips to alert employers to common filing mistakes which can delay the processing of an H-2A application. The H-2A Filing Tips may be found on the H-2A program page under Factsheets and Filing Tips. Also posted on the H-2A program page is a new Factsheet presenting H-2A program selected statistics based on applications submitted during the first two quarters of FY 2012. The Fact Sheet includes information on the H-2A program use, including top filing states, activities and crops. To view or download the Factsheet please click here.

    In addition, the Department has received OMB approval to extend the H-2A forms which were previously set to expire on April 30, 2012. All H-2A applications should be filed using the extended ETA Form 9142 and Appendix A.2 which reflect the new, October 31, 2012, expiration date. To view or download the extended forms, please click here.

    May 22, 2012. H-2B Ombudsman Program.

    The OFLC is pleased to announce the expansion of the H-2A Ombudsman Program to include the H-2B Program community. The Ombudsman Program is here to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns that arise within the H-2A and H-2B filing communities, by conducting independent and impartial inquiries into issues related to the administration of these programs. We also identify areas in which employers and worker advocate organizations have concerns in dealing with the OFLC and propose internal recommendations designed to continuously improve the quality of services provided by the OFLC. For more information on the H-2B Ombudsman Program click here.

    May 16, 2012:

    The Department published today a Federal Register Notice advising the regulated community of the injunction placed on the implementation of the H-2B 2012 Final Rule and of procedures to be followed in seeking labor certification to file H-2B petitions. To see the notice, click here.

    May 15, 2012:

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Temporary Agricultural H-2A Program regarding the Federal tax withholding applicable to H-2A workers. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading H-2A Program and subheading Job Offers, Obligations and Assurances/Rates of Pay.

    May 14, 2012:

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and the consequences of withdrawing an application in Supervised Recruitment. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading "Supervised Recruitment." Please note that the address in the FAQ for re-filed applications has changed.

    May 14, 2012. H-2A and H-2B Forms Update:

    The Office of Management and Budget has approved the Department's request to extend the ETA Form 9142, Appendices A.2 and B.1 and associated instructions which were previously set to expire on April 30, 2012. The new expiration date for these forms is October 31, 2012.

    As of the date of this announcement, future H-2A applications should be filed using the extended ETA Form 9142 and Appendix A.2 which reflect the October 31, 2012 expiration date.

    In light of the recent preliminary injunction of the 2012 H-2B Final Rule, employers filing H-2B applications under the 2008 Final Rule must do so using the extended ETA Form 9142 and Appendix B.1 (H-2B only), reflecting the October 31, 2012 expiration date. To view or download the extended forms, please click here.

    May 7, 2012.

    On April 26, 2012, the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States, Final Rule, 77 FR 10038, Feb. 21, 2012 was preliminarily enjoined by the U.S. District Court for Northern District of Florida, Pensacola Division in Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services, et al. v. Hilda L. Solis, et al., 12-cv-00183-RV-CJK, and was never implemented. Therefore, for the present time employers should file their H-2B labor certification applications under the Labor Certification Process and Enforcement for Temporary Employment in Occupations Other Than Agriculture or Registered Nursing in the United States (H-2B Workers), and Other Technical Changes, 73 FR 78020, Dec. 19, 2008. However, please be aware that this preliminary injunction necessarily calls into doubt the underlying authority of the Department of Labor to fulfill its responsibilities under the Immigration and Nationality Act and Department of Homeland Security regulations to issue the labor certifications that are a necessary predicate for the admission of H-2B workers.

    April 26, 2012. H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 Helpful Resources:

    The Department has posted a contact list for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs to assist employers with their applications. To view or download a PDF copy of the Helpful Resources for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs, please click here.

    April 3, 2012

    On April 2, 2012 the U. S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, issued a Press Release regarding Earl David's guilty plea. Earl David is the ringleader of a massive immigration fraud scheme extradited from Canada to face charges in Manhattan Federal Court. Click here for the press release.

    March 28, 2012.

    OFLC is pleased to present the fourth in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics.
    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during FY 2012. Click here. to access this Fact Sheet.

    March 27, 2012. H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 Programs. To view or download a PDF copy of the FAQs, please click here. The new FAQs are also separately available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Temporary Programs heading.

    March 26, 2012. H-2A Email Notification Program Expanded

    The Chicago National Processing Center has announced that it will be expanding its E-Mail Notification Program to all H-2A stakeholders who elect to participate in the program. In addition, all H-2A employers who elect to participate in the program will no longer receive hard copy notifications of the following actions: Notice of Deficiency, Notice of Acceptance, Denials, Withdrawals, Extensions, and Redeterminations. NOTE: Certifications and partial certifications will continue to be issued to H-2A stakeholders via electronic transmission and by hard copy.

    March 26, 2012. Effective April 9, 2012, E-mail Notification Program to include H-2B stakeholders

    The Chicago National Processing Center has announced that it will be expanding its E-Mail Notification Program to all H-2B stakeholders who elect to participate in the program. In addition, all H-2B employers who elect to participate in the program will no longer receive hard copy notifications of the following actions: Notice of Deficiency, Notice of Acceptance, Denials, Withdrawals, Extensions, and Redeterminations. NOTE: Certifications and partial certifications will continue to be issued to H-2B stakeholders via electronic transmission and by hard copy.

    March 22, 2012.

    On January 25, 2012 the U. S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York, issued a Press Release regarding the extradition of Earl David from Canada. Earl David is the alleged ringleader of a massive immigration fraud scheme extradited from Canada to face charges in Manhattan Federal Court. Click here for the press release.

    March 20, 2012. Office of Foreign Labor Certification Website Updates.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has established a process by which members of the public may subscribe to receive e-mail alerts whenever the Department posts an announcement updating some aspect of the OFLC website, e.g., program updates, outreach announcements, new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), disclosure data, etc. Read the instructions on how to subscribe to OFLC e-mail alerts here.

    March 7, 2012. H-2A Federal Register Notices.

    The Department has published Federal Register Notices affecting the H-2A program. The Notice for the 2012 Allowable Charges provides the new meals and travel subsistence reimbursement rates for 2012 and clarifies the reimbursement for transportation. This notice corrected minor errors in a previous publication. This Federal Register notice is available here. Another Notice has recently been published, discussing a non-material change to the Farm Labor Survey used for determining the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, and is available here.

    March 6, 2012.

    The OFLC has updated its Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics.
    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification applications submitted during FY 2012.

    March 6, 2012. H-2A Ombudsman Program.

    The OFLC is pleased to announce the establishment of an H-2A Ombudsman Program. The H-2A Ombudsman Program is here to facilitate the fair and equitable resolution of concerns that arise within the H-2A filing community, by conducting independent and impartial inquiries into issues related to the administration of the H-2A program. We also identify areas in which agricultural employers and worker advocate organizations have concerns in dealing with the OFLC and propose internal recommendations designed to continuously improve the quality of services provided by the OFLC. For more information on the H-2A Ombudsman Program click here.

    March 01, 2012.

    The Department of Labor has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program advising employers of the abbreviations for the following territories, when filing the application electronically: American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of Palau. This FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the heading PERM Program and subheading Filing-How to File.

    March 01, 2012.

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and LCA program disclosure data files for Quarter 1 of FY 2012 are now available in Microsoft Access. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

    February 29, 2012.

    To assist H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a sixth round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing clarifications on several H-2A issues raised recently. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading for the H-2A Program.

    February 29, 2012.

    To assist H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a fifth round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing clarifications on several H-2A issues raised recently, including the transportation requirement. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading for the H-2A Program.

    February 29, 2012.

    H-2A Handbook Revised: To continue to assist H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has revised its Employer Guide for Participating in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program. This guide summarizes and explains key regulatory requirements for a U.S. employer to participate in the H-2A Program, including what documents to file, important timeframes and deadlines, helpful filing tips, and how to contact the OFLC Chicago National Processing Center for further assistance. Please click here to obtain a copy of the new employer guide or go directly to the H-2A Program webpage.

    February 16, 2012.

    OFLC is pleased to present the third in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics

    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during FY 2012. This Fact Sheet is now available on the iCERT Portal under the "PERM Processing Times" tab and will be routinely updated in the future.

    February 10, 2012.

    Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States. The Department has placed on the table for publication in the Federal Register a Final Rule amending the regulations governing the labor certification process for the temporary employment of H-2B foreign workers in the United States, codified at 20 CFR part 655, and enforcement of employer obligations under the H-2B program, codified at 29 CFR Part 503. The new regulations will be published in the Federal Register on February 21, 2012, and will go into effect on April 23, 2012. To read the full text of the Final Rule, please click here.

    February 6, 2012.

    Enhancements to H-2A E-mail Notifications.

    The Chicago National Processing Center has implemented enhancements to its 10-State E-Mail Notification Pilot Program for the H-2A Program. Effective February 6, 2012, H-2A employers who file H-2A applications in CT, MA, ME, VT, NY, ID, KY, LA, ND, and TX and who have elected to participate in the e-mail notification pilot program will no longer receive hard copy notifications of the following actions: Notice of Deficiency, Notice of Acceptance, Denials, Withdrawals, and Extensions. These hard copy notifications will be eliminated as enhancements to the e-mail notification pilot program. NOTE: Certifications and Partial Certifications will continue to be sent to H-2A stakeholders via electronic transmission and by hard copy.

    January 31, 2012.

    The iCERT System will be unavailable from 8AM to approximately 1PM Eastern Time on Monday, February 6, 2012 so that we may implement enhancements to the iCERT Prevailing Wage Module. For a summary of the enhancements, please click here. In addition, you may refer to the updated Prevailing Wage External User Guide which is available under the User Guides tab on the iCERT Visa Portal System.

    January 18, 2012.

    OFLC is pleased to present the second in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program-Selected Statistics

    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during the first quarter of FY 2012. This Fact Sheet is now available on the iCERT Portal under the "PERM Processing Times" tab and will be routinely updated in the future.

    December 30, 2011.

    Additional Prevailing Wage Update for H-2B

    On December 23, 2011, the President signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012.  The legislation contains language prohibiting the Department from implementing the Wage Rule during the 2012 fiscal year.  Based on Congressional intent to continue to implement the current H-2B regulations, the Department has published a Final Rule extending the effective date of the Wage Rule to apply to work performed on and after October 1, 2012. The Final Rule is accessible here.

    In light of this postponement, the Department has also published a Federal Register Notice providing guidance regarding wage determinations previously issued under the H-2B Wage Rule. The guidance provided through the Federal Register Notice can be accessed here.

    Please submit questions regarding the H-2B Wage Rule to the following e-mail box (established by the Department specifically for this purpose) H2Bwagerule@dol.gov

    December 22, 2011.

    H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs)

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register that announces the new Adverse Effect Wage Rates by State (AEWR Notice). Please note that unlike in prior years, this notice contains only the new AEWRs. The Department will publish a subsequent Federal Register Notice to announce the new Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals, and Maximum Travel Subsistence Reimbursement for use in the H-2A program. To read the new AEWR Notice, please click here.

    December 22, 2011.

    H-2A Adverse Effect Wage Rates (AEWRs)

    The Department has published a notice in the Federal Register that announces the new Adverse Effect Wage Rates by State (AEWR Notice). Please note that unlike in prior years, this notice contains only the new AEWRs. The Department will publish a subsequent Federal Register Notice to announce the new Allowable Charges for Agricultural Workers' Meals, and Maximum Travel Subsistence Reimbursement for use in the H-2A program. To read the new AEWR Notice, please click here.

    December 21, 2011

    The 2012 Adverse Effects Wage Rates are now available. Click here to view them.

    December 20, 2011

    Chicago NPC UPS Holiday Delivery Notice

    United Parcel Service (UPS) announced that they will not be providing delivery or pick-up services on Friday, December 23, 2011. The public is encouraged to submit their correspondence timely to the Chicago National Processing Center, being mindful of the holiday schedule if using UPS. The Chicago National Processing Center will endeavor to ensure all H-2A and H-2B deadlines for December 23 and 26, 2011 will be met by December 22, 2011.

    December 19, 2011

    The OFLC Program Debarments List has been updated. Click here to view this list.

    December 12, 2011

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a new Employer Guide for Participating in the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program. This guide summarizes and explains key regulatory requirements for a U.S. employer to participate in the H-2A Program, including what documents to file, important timeframes and deadlines, helpful filing tips, and how to contact the OFLC Chicago National Processing Center for further assistance. Please click here to obtain a copy of the new employer guide or go directly to the H-2A Program webpage.

    December 6, 2011

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers and applications, the Department of Labor has posted a fourth round of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) providing clarifications on background check, contract impossibility, and surety bond requirements for H-2A Labor Contractors. These FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading for the H-2A Program.

    November 29, 2011.

    Prevailing Wage Update for H-2B

    On November 18, 2011, the President signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012, Public Law 112-55. The legislation contains language prohibiting the Department from implementing, administering, or enforcing, before January 1, 2012, the H-2B Wage Rule. Based on Congressional intent to continue to implement the current H-2B regulations, the Department has published a Final Rule extending the effective date of the Wage Rule to apply to work performed on and after January 1, 2012. The Final Rule is accessible here.

    In light of this postponement, the Department has also published a Federal Register Notice providing that the wage determinations previously issued under the H-2B Wage Rule will not be effective until January 1, 2012, and will apply only to work performed on or after January 1, 2012. Any employer who has previously received an H-2B prevailing wage determination in anticipation of either the September 30, 2011 or November 30, 2011 effective dates is not required to pay, and the Department's Wage and Hour Division will not enforce, the wage provided in the prevailing wage determination issued under the Wage Rule for any work performed by H-2B workers or U.S. workers recruited in connection with the H-2B application process until January 1, 2012. Employers are expected to continue to pay at least the prevailing wage as provided in a prevailing wage determination issued under the 2008 H-2B Rule for any work performed up to January 1, 2012. The guidance can be accessed here.

    The Department will issue H-2B prevailing wage determinations before January 1, 2012 in accordance with the methodology contained in the H-2B rule published in December 2008. Absent further legislative or judicial action, employers who receive such prevailing wages and use them to file H-2B labor certification applications will be provided additional information on their wage obligations after January 1, 2012. The prevailing wage determinations that will be provided will instruct users that any advertising conducted must include language that informs potential applicants the wage they will actually be paid may be different from the advertised wage.

    November 23, 2011.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has created a page from which you can access the OFLC 2010 Annual Report and offer comments. Please click here to access this page.

    November 21, 2011.

    United Parcel Service (UPS) announced that they will not be providing delivery or pick-up services on Thursday, November 24 (Thanksgiving Day) and Friday, November 25, 2011. The public is encouraged to submit their correspondence timely to the Chicago National Processing Center, being mindful of the holiday schedule if using UPS. The Chicago National Processing Center will endeavor to ensure all H-2A and H-2B deadlines for November 24th and 25th will be met by November 23, 2011.

    November 17, 2011.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is providing this update to the public on issuing prevailing wage determinations.

    PERM: Became current the week of October 23, 2011
    H-1B: Became current the week of November 6, 2011
    H-2B: Anticipated becoming current the week of November 27, 2011

    "Current" carries a different meaning in each program. A prevailing wage determination is "current" in the PERM and H-1B programs when it is issued within 60 days of submission. For H-2B prevailing wage determinations, "current" is within 30 days of submission in accordance with the program's regulations. These dates may be subject to change based on actions not anticipated by the Department at this time, such as any additional judicial determinations or legislative actions. PWD appeals (redeterminations and Center Director Reviews) are being processed as resources allow, with priority placed on becoming current on initial PWD requests in each of the respective program areas.

    November 7, 2011.

    The Department of Labor has posted a revised Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) regarding the Permanent (PERM) Program and listing job requirements not normal to the occupation on both the ETA Form 9141 Prevailing Wage Request and ETA Form 9089. This FAQ, which replaces the previous notice that had references to the State Workforce Agency (SWA), is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC Web site under the heading PERM Program and subheading Job Requirements/Duties.

    October 24, 2011.

    The Department of Labor is working to incorporate new and/or revised Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) codes into the Permanent (PERM) Program online application system. Until the new codes are fully integrated, filers may experience situations where the new and/or revised, SOC codes are not available in the PERM online application system. Until such time as the new codes are incorporated, the Atlanta National Processing Center (ANPC) will accept the older SOC codes even though they may not match the code indicated on the Prevailing Wage Determination. Filers may also consider placing the new SOC job title in section H.3, and the new SOC code in section H.14 of the ETA Form 9089.

    October 24, 2011. Prevailing Wage Determinations - Update

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification is providing this update to the public on its plans for becoming current on issuing prevailing wage determinations:

    PERM: Week of October 23, 2011
    H-1B: Week of November 6, 2011
    H-2B: Week of December 18, 2011

    "Current" carries a different meaning in each program. A prevailing wage determination is "current" in the PERM and H-1B programs when it is issued within 60 days of submission. For H-2B prevailing wage determinations, "current" is within 30 days of submission in accordance with the program's regulations. These dates may be subject to change based on actions not anticipated by the Department at this time such as any additional judicial determinations. The PWD appeals are being processed as resources allow with priority being placed on becoming current on initial PWD requests in each of the respective program areas.

    October 21, 2011.

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification has redesigned its H-2A program website to make it more user-friendly. The new design combines many useful links and features into a single portal. You can view this newly redesigned site by clicking here.

    October 12, 2011. The Department has released its Foreign Labor Certification Annual Report.

    An updated version of the OFLC 2010 Annual Report has been prepared. You can view this report by clicking here.

    The Department has released its Foreign Labor Certification Annual Report. The 2010 Annual Report presents information on the Prevailing Wage Determination Process, Permanent Labor Certification and Temporary Nonimmigrant Labor Certification for FY 2010. In addition, this report contains valuable information on State Employment-Based Immigration Profiles, Permanent Education Certification Statistics, H-1B Education Certification Statistics and Country Employment-Based Immigration Profiles.

    October 12, 2011. 

    To assist prospective H-2A employers in preparing their agricultural job offers, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) has established a dedicated webpage providing available information on prevailing employment practices as well as acceptable experience requirements for agricultural jobs. This information is collected through the State Workforce Agencies (SWAs) and used by the OFLC's Chicago National Processing Center staff in reviewing employer job requirements under the H-2A program to ensure no adverse impact on the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers similarly employed.

    Please click here to access the Agricultural Employment Practice Survey Library on the OFLC website.

    September 30, 2011. Prevailing Wage Determinations - Update

    In light of the Department's recent decision to postpone the effective date of the Wage Rule until November 30, 2011, we have published this subsequent Federal Register Notice to provide guidance to those employers who received supplemental prevailing wage determination that have now been delayed. The notice confirms that employers who received a supplemental H-2B prevailing wage determination in anticipation of the September 30, 2011 effective date are not required to pay, and the Department's Wage and Hour Division will not enforce, the wage provided in those supplemental prevailing wage determinations for work performed through November 29, 2011. To read the text of the Notice, please click here.

    September 27, 2011

    The OFLC's National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) has reissued wage determinations on more than 3,400 previously certified H-2B applications to comply with the June 15, 2011 order of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas v. Solis.  OFLC continues to work expeditiously to process pending determination requests for new H-2B, H-1B and PERM prevailing wages. 

    On September 26, 2011, the District Court for the Northern District of Florida in the action Bayou Lawn & Landscape Services et al v. Solis, 3:11-cv-00445-MCR-EMT, issued a temporary restraining order to prohibit the Department from implementing the Wage Final Rule and to require the Department to issue prevailing wages in the H-2B program in accordance with the methodology of the 2008 H-2B rule. The Department will comply with the terms of the Court's order, which is in effect for 14 days.

    The Department has announced a 60-day postponement of the effective date for the final rule concerning the wage methodology for the H-2B program; please see here for the FRN.  Further guidance and advice with respect to actions regarding H-2B prevailing wages will be posted on this Web site and in the Federal Register.

    September 23, 2011.

    US Labor Department postpones revising wage calculations for H-2B program. Delay avoids administering the H-2B program under potentially conflicting court orders. Press release available here.

    September 12, 2011.

    On January 19, 2011, the Department published a final rule revising the methodology for calculating the prevailing wages to be paid by employers to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with an H-2B temporary labor certification. The Department recognized that many employers already may have planned for their labor needs and operations through calendar year 2011 in reliance on the existing prevailing wage methodology. Accordingly, the Department delayed implementation of the final rule so that the revised prevailing wage methodology only would apply to work performed on or after January 1, 2012.

    On June 15, 2011, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas v. Solis issued a ruling that invalidated the January 1, 2012, effective date of the final rule and ordered the Department to announce a new effective date within 45 days from June 15, 2011. In order to comply with this court order, the Department issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on June 28, 2011, in the Federal Register requesting public comments on a new effective date for the final rule. The Department completed a review of comments in response to the NPRM and on August 1, 2011, published a new final rule to amend the effective date to all work performed on or after September 30, 2011.

    Based on a review of H-2B program data and a shift in the effective date of the final rule to September 30, 2011, the Office of Foreign Labor Certification's (OFLC) National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) is re-issuing wage determinations on more than 3,500 previously certified H-2B applications which must be completed prior to September 30th. The Department is committed to meeting this deadline to ensure workers entitled to these new wages, and employers required to pay them, are fully apprised.

    The OFLC has reallocated significant staff resources within its organization to focus on completing the 3,500 H-2B wage redeterminations as expeditiously as possible, while simultaneously implementing plans designed to minimize delays in processing pending employer requests for H-1B, H-2B, and PERM prevailing wages. For the H-1B program, employers are reminded that they can obtain a prevailing wage on their own without the assistance of the NPWC and immediately file H-1B applications. Prevailing wage lookups for the Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage survey are available at http://www.flcdatacenter.com.

    For additional information on delays regarding issuance of prevailing wage determinations and H-1B labor condition applications, please click here.

    September 9, 2011, H-2A FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist employers and others with the H-2A program. The FAQs discuss H-2A application amendments, post-certification changes to the end date of work, and post-certification notification to the Department regarding workers who have abandoned or have been terminated from positions. The FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

    September 9, 2011. H-2A Employer Filing Tips:

    The Department has posted H-2A Employer Filing Tips to assist employers with the H-2A program. Based on 16 months of processing experience at the Chicago National Processing Center, the filing tips are reminders to employers of common mistakes that may result in processing delays. The H-2A Employer Filing Tips are available here and on the H-2A program page under Additional Resources.

    September 8, 2011

    A link to the H-2B Wage Final Rule has been posted to the Prevailing Wage program page (under Regulations and FAQs) as well as the H-2B page (under Program Regulations and Guidance).

    August 26, 2011.

    The Department has posted allowable meal charges and reimbursements for subsistence. Click here for more information.

    August 23, 2011. H-2A FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the H-2A program. The FAQs are available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

    August 16, 2011.

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the Prevailing Wages in the H-2B program, specifically the issuance of supplemental prevailing wages in accordance with the June 15, 2011 order of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Please see What's New for more information.

    August 8, 2011. Update: Issuance of Prevailing Wage Determinations.

    The NPWC is currently experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is working to reissue certain prevailing wage determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. We continue to encourage all requestors to submit their ETA Form 9141 at least 60 days in advance of the employer's initial recruitment efforts.

    August 4, 2011.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register 5 notices regarding special procedures for the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program. See What's New for information on a NEW H-2A Special Procedure for Beekeepers; and for revised procedures for Multi-State Custom Combiners, the Itinerant Animal Shearing Industry, Open Range Production of Livestock Occupations, and Sheepherders and Goatherders.

    August 1, 2011. H-2B Program: Wage Methodology Final Rule.

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a Final Rule to amend the effective date of the Wage Methodology for Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The Final Rule makes the change in the methodology effective for all work performed on or after September 30, 2011. To read or download the Final Rule please click here.

    July 26, 2011. The Department has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the H-2B program:

    The FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2B Heading (under the subheading of Job Contractors).

    July 22, 2011. OFLC is pleased to present the first in a series of Permanent Labor Certification Program - Selected Statistics:

    This Fact Sheet presents statistics regarding Permanent Labor Certification program applications submitted during the first six months of FY 2011. This Fact Sheet is now available on the iCERT Portal under the "PERM Processing Times" tab and will be routinely updated in the future.

    July 22, 2011. H-2A FAQ:

    The Department has posted a new Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) to assist employers and others regarding the H-2A program. The FAQ is available here and on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the H-2A heading.

    July 19, 2011. New Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) 2010:

    In January 2010 the BLS Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) was updated. This year the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) began issuing prevailing wages using the new SOC occupations and a few transitional occupations. The OFLC iCERT system and FLC Data Center incorporated this data as of July 5, 2011. To read the full text, please click here.

    June 28, 2011. Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment H-2B Program; Amendment of Effective Date:

    The Department has published today in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The NPRM proposes to amend the effective date of the H-2B Wage Methodology Final Rule, pursuant to court order. The Department is accepting comments on the proposed rulemaking until July 8, 2011. To read the full text of the NPRM and learn how to submit comments, please click here.

    May 5, 2011

    The OFLC PERM, H-2A, H-2B, Prevailing Wage, and H-1B program disclosure data files for Quarter 2 of FY 2011 are now available in Microsoft Access. Click here to access the disclosure files and corresponding record layouts. Historical OFLC program disclosure files for prior fiscal years are available on our Foreign Labor Certification Data Center website at www.flcdatacenter.com.

    April 14, 2011. Application of the Prevailing Wage Methodology in the H-2B Program; Amendment of Appendix B.1

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a notice announcing an amendment to the Appendix B.1 of the ETA Form 9142, Application for Temporary Employment Certification. The amendment reflects an employer's obligation to pay a prevailing wage determined under the new prevailing wage methodology promulgated by the Wage Methodology for the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment H-2B Program Final Rule, which published in the Federal Register on January 19, 2011, and applies to wages paid for work performed on or after January 1, 2012. As of the date of this notice, all employers utilizing the H-2B program must submit the new Appendix B.1 with their applications. Read the text of the notice here.

    March 18, 2011. Temporary Non-agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States; Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

    The Department has published today in the Federal Register a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding the Temporary Non-agricultural Employment of H-2B Aliens in the United States (H-2B program). The NPRM proposes to amend the H-2B regulations at 20 CFR Part 655, Subpart A which govern the process by which employers apply for a temporary labor certification from the Department of Labor (Department) to be able to hire foreign workers in H-2B status. The Department is accepting comments on the proposed rulemaking until May 17, 2011. To read the full text of the NPRM and learn how to submit comments, please click here. To read a fact sheet from the Department regarding the NPRM, please click here.

    March 15, 2011, Prevailing Wage FAQs:

    The Department has posted new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to assist employers and others regarding prevailing wage requests and determinations. The FAQs are available here on the FAQs page of the OFLC website under the Prevailing Wage heading. The FAQs are organized by subject subheadings and each FAQ includes the relevant posting date.

    January 19, 2011.  H-2B Program:  Wage Methodology Final Rule:

    The Department has published in the Federal Register a Final Rule on the Wage Methodology for Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The Final Rule revises the methodology by which the Department calculates the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with a temporary labor certification. The Final Rule is effective for wages paid for all work performed on or after January 1, 2012.  To read or download the Final Rule please click here.

    January 18, 2011.  H-2B Program:  Wage Methodology Final Rule.  The Department has placed on the table to be published in the Federal Register a Final Rule on the Wage Methodology for Temporary Non-agricultural Employment in the H-2B Program. The Final Rule revises the methodology by which the Department calculates the prevailing wages to be paid to H-2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with a temporary labor certification. The Final Rule is effective for wages paid for all work performed on or after January 1, 2012