Lawsuit funding needed to save H-2B program

PLANET and other associations plan to file a lawsuit against the DOL and are asking those in the industry for monetary help.

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August 31, 2011

PLANET released a letter Tuesday regarding filing a lawsuit against the Department of Labor for changes made to the H-2B program. The letter:

In a previous email, we mentioned that we would follow up with information and a request for funding to bring a lawsuit against the Department of Labor (DOL) in our attempt to save the H-2B program. The PLANET Board of Directors has voted to contribute to this effort, but we also need your help.

PLANET, along with several other associations and H-2B agents, has retained the law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP, which has already begun to work on the case. A lawsuit of this nature requires special expertise on the part of the lawyers involved, and we are confident we have engaged the most knowledgeable set of lawyers familiar with this process.

The first course of action is to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO). If we are successful in doing so, it will give us 10–20 days to follow up with a preliminary injunction request. Much work must be done in a short period, and this effort will cost a great deal of money. We know, however, how important this program is to users whose livelihoods depend on them being able to hire H-2B workers, and those suppliers and local companies who rely on your businesses also being successful.

You may think this wage increase does not affect you because you already pay some of your H-2B workers at the level being called for by the DOL. However, you need to understand that you will now have to advertise the job at that wage level, and it is still undetermined if you can require the experience usually associated with that level of pay. Also, have you considered what this increase does to the wage levels of your U.S. workers and any other new workers you hire?

If you wish to continue to use the H-2B program now or in the future, you need to help fund this lawsuit. It is that simple. We need to stop this action by the DOL now, or be saddled with wage levels that could result in many of you having to close your businesses.

So, how much to give? Take into account the new per hour wage you will be required to pay, multiply that by the number of workers and hours per week/month, and contribute accordingly by September 14.

Make checks payable to Greenberg Traurig, LLP. Please note “H-2B Wage Litigation” on your check, and mail it, in care of (c/o) Laura Reiff, to:

Greenberg Traurig, LLP
1750 Tysons Blvd., Suite 1200
McLean, VA 22102

You may also make a contribution with your credit card, but you will need to complete and fax in a credit card authorization form. If you wish to use this method, please call me at (800) 395-2522 or send an email to Tom Delaney. Please fax credit card contributions to Nancy Miller at (703) 714-8366.

PLANET has been involved in every aspect of this effort and will continue, with its lobbyist DCLRS, to fight for your business survival. But, we need you to contribute to this effort by September 14.

Contact Tom Delaney with more questions.