The American Nursery and Landscape Association (ANLA) has taken action in response to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) recently proposed changes to the H-2B program.
Widely used by landscape installation and maintenance professionals and other seasonal employers seeking a legal workforce, these proposed changes would increase filing requirements and advertising timelines for employers seeking to fill positions. Employers will be subject to stricter requirements to hire any and all available U.S. workers, despite historically low interest and retention of these applicants.
“DOL’s proposed changes will render the program unworkable for responsible landscape installation and maintenance employers seeking a legal, seasonal workforce,” says Hadley Sosnoff, ANLA’s director of government relations.
Submitting comments to DOL for review, ANLA is pursuing a three-pronged approach to defending the H-2B program. First, ANLA joined partners in the H-2B Workforce Coalition to convey how the changes will negatively affect the program and employers. ANLA also joined PLANET to submit a set of comments that focus on specific concerns of the green industry.
ANLA joined several other agents and associations to submit detailed comments researched by a legal team led by ANLA labor and employment law counsel Monte Lake, of CJ-Lake, LLP.
“The CJ-Lake team painstakingly researched the record of Congress since the mid-1980s,” says Craig Regelbrugge, ANLA’s vice president for government relations. “What they found is that DOL is acting in direct conflict with congressional intent. Essentially, they lack the authority to do what they are doing.”
Adds Sosnoff: “The ongoing battle promises to be tough, and the stakes for the green industry are especially high given the large number of seasonal and agricultural jobs in landscape and nursery businesses. Thanks to all who are supporting ANLA’s aggressive defense of the program.”
For more, visit www.ANLA.org.