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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

SOL News Release: [06/17/2010]
Contact Name: Elizabeth Alexander
Phone Number: (202) 693-4675
Release Number: 10-0731-NAT

US Department of Labor wins challenge to H-2A regulation

WASHINGTON — Judge William L. Osteen Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina has accepted the North Carolina Growers Association's motion to terminate its challenge to the regulation governing the H-2A temporary agricultural worker labor certification program. The H-2A program permits agricultural employers to bring foreign workers into the U.S. on a temporary basis if domestic workers are not available and the use of foreign workers will not adversely affect the wages or working conditions of U.S. workers.

The North Carolina Growers Association filed suit in March to nullify the U.S. Department of Labor's 2010 H-2A regulation. That regulation restored important worker protections, including raising wage rates for foreign and domestic agricultural workers, requiring employers to document their compliance with departmental regulations and ensuring that domestic workers have greater access to available job opportunities. Those protections had been reduced in a regulation that was issued in the last days of the prior administration.

"The termination of this lawsuit is a vindication of the Labor Department's approach to vigorously protecting both temporary foreign workers and the domestic agricultural workforce," said Secretary of Labor Hilda A. Solis.