Federal Court Rejects DOL's Attempted 2013 Mid-Season H-2B Prevailing Wage Hike

     The latest lawsuit trying to enforce DOL’s illegal 2013 mid-season prevailing wage hike was dismissed on Friday.  

     In April 2013, DOL tried to impose a mid-season increase in the prevailing wage.  DOL’s Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals ruled in December 2013 that DOL’s regulations did not permit mid-season prevailing wage increases.

     Two Maryland H-2B workers sued DOL and 70+ Maryland H-2B employers in late 2015 saying that BALCA was wrong.  The workers, however, did not allege that any employer had violated the law in challenging the wage hike.  The H-2B employers were represented by Wayne Pierce of the Pierce Law Firm and Wendel Hall of the Hall Law Office.  They argued that the employers had nothing wrong in challenging DOL's unlawful actions and that therefore the case had to be dismissed.

     In a decisive, three-page opinion, Judge J. Frederick Motz dismissed the case based on the arguments that the defendants advanced.  Most importantly, the Court specifically acknowledged that it is inappropriate to sue a defendant unless wrongdoing is alleged. 

     Judge Motz' ruling is the second time a federal court has rejected a challenge to Island Holdings.  While it remains to be seen whether the decision will be appealed, this victory will likely help in responding to other challenges to Island Holdings.