A challenge brought by agricultural employers against the Biden Administration’s 2022 H-2A Final Rule has been rejected. The National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE) argued that the department had unlawfully withdrawn the previous administration’s rule, which had been published online just nine days before President Joe Biden took office. However, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the 2021 Final Rule never officially became law because it was not made available for public inspection by the Office of Federal Register and that the Labor Department had properly followed notice-and-comment procedures in implementing the 2022 rule.

While the court agreed that agricultural employers would face increased costs under the 2022 rule, the trial court found that the Labor Department had adequately considered such concerns. Consequently, the Biden administration’s 2022 H-2A Final Rule remains in effect.

A separate legal challenge by NCAE seeking to halt the implementation of the Labor Department’s Adverse Effect Wage Rate rule that created a new scheme for calculating wages for certain secondary agricultural occupations under the H-2A program, such as for truck drivers, bus drivers, and mechanics, remains pending in a U.S. District Court in Florida.

For more information: wga.com