News About DOL's Response To The 2016 Consolidated Appropriations Law

This is an update about DOL's response the the 2016 Consolidated Appropriations law.  On December 18th, President Obama signed the appropriations bill into law.  The law contained several provisions relating to the H-2B Program.  DOL then effectively stopped processing Applications and PWRs.

On December 29th, DOL issued "Emergency Guidance - Implementation of 2016 DOL Appropriations Act."  This Guidance was DOL's official announcement on the impact of the new law.  

The Guidance states that DOL is preparing a new ETA 9142, Appendix B.  DOL states that the new Appendix B will eliminate references to the three-fourths guarantee and corresponding employment.  DOL's proposed form is here.   A track changes version showing the changes from the current document is here.  Here is DOL's statement of justification for the new document.

Two things are evident.  First, DOL is striking the three-quarter guarantee entirely.  The Guidance implies that DOL will still be enforcing it, but the form belies that proposition.  Second, DOL is not backing down on "corresponding employment."  All the form does is strike the exact words corresponding employment, but then rephrases the form to communicate the concept.

DOL's response with respect to PWDs is troubling.  The Guidance states that DOL will not process PWRs until OMB has approved a new form, but that DOL has submitted a new PWR document to OMB for review.  A review of OMB's current inventory does not turn up any such form.  The DOL official in charge of this in Eugenia Ordynski.  Per the public information published by OMB, her email is Ordynsky.Eugenia@dol.gov and her phone number is (202) 513-7376.  Inquiries to date have not been returned.

Updates will appear as new information becomes available.