UPDATE: DOL Temporarily Suspends the Processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations

Posted On: August 12, 2011

AILA has received a report that the NPWC is now sending out the following revised message regarding prevailing wage determinations:

The OFLC National Prevailing Wage Center is experiencing delays in processing prevailing wage determinations as it is currently working to reissue certain determinations to comply with a court order issued June 15, 2011 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on June 28, 2011, and a Final Rule will be published on August 1. All Center resources are currently being utilized to comply with this court order. The processing of Prevailing Wage Determinations, redeterminations, and Center Director Reviews has been temporarily suspended. Processing will resume as soon as full compliance with the court order has been completed by OFLC.

Q: How long will the suspension of prevailing wage determinations last?
This is unclear. In the rule published on August 1, DOL indicated that while they will be able to reissue all of the required H-2B wage determinations before October 1, they also stated that DOL could not reissue all 4,000 required H-2B wage determinations before August 31, 2011. DOL has not issued any estimate on when they will resume processing prevailing wages.

Q: Is there any way to expedite a prevailing wage request?
DOL’s policy is that they will not expedite, and applications will be handled on a first-in, first-out basis.

Q: What is AILA liaison doing about the PWD delays?
AILA liaison has been in communication with DOL for the past several weeks about the prevailing wage delays (as well as other problems related to the new SOC codes introduced on July 1), and has forwarded specific requests for guidance to DOL. AILA has also asked that DOL immediately resume processing all prevailing wage requests, as suspension of prevailing wage determinations prevents employers from filing any PERM applications. DOL will be holding a call with AILA liaison and other stakeholders next week on prevailing wages, and we hope that DOL will be able to provide some estimate on PWD processing times, as well as whether any relief may be available for PERM cases that must be filed due to AC-21 requirements, expiring recruitment, or other reasons.

AILA is continuing to follow up with DOL to obtain additional information on the extent and duration of the prevailing wage delays and will post new information as soon as it becomes available.

Source of Information: AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 11072571