The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has announced that processing of all Prevailing Wage Determinations (PWD) has been suspended until further notice. This suspension is the result of an H-2B lawsuit that resulted in a court order to reformulate how H-2B determinations are made. The DOL timely published a new formulation, but have been court ordered to reprocess all H-2B's PWD pending and issued since the court order on June 15th, which the DOL estimates is in excess of 4000 PWD requests. As a result, DOL has to allocate all PWD personnel to prioritizing H-2B PWD adjudications. The DOL is not yet willing to provide estimates for when PERM-based PWD's will resume processing.
What this means for our clients:
Any PERM application for Permanent Residence in pre-recruitment awaiting a PWD from the DOL risks delay if recruiting is not begun until the PWD is received. It is also not beyond consideration that the DOL may need to pull resources from other areas. DOL processing of PERM applications, PERM audits or even H-1B Labor Condition Application processing (LCA's) could be the next DOL application to find their resources reallocated to satisfying the court order, resulting in delayed adjudication of PERMS and LCA's. Moore & Van Allen will be contacting clients affected by the DOL PWD shutdown to re-strategize affected cases. We also continue to monitor the processing of DOL applications and alert our clients of any future delays and DOL decisions that could impact other application types.