Withdrawal of Interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act Concerning Relocation Expenses Incurred by H-2A and H-2B Workers
The Department of Labor (DOL or the Department) withdraws for further consideration an interpretation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) published on December 18 and 19, 2008. The interpretation, which was published at 73 FR 77148-52 (H-2A program) and 73 FR 78039-41 (H-2B program), articulated an opinion that the FLSA and its implementing regulations do not require employers to reimburse workers under the H- 2A and H-2B nonimmigrant visa programs, respectively, for relocation expenses even when such costs result in the workers being paid less than the minimum wage. This interpretation is hereby withdrawn for further consideration by the Department and may not be relied upon as a statement of agency policy.
Temporary Employment of H-2A Aliens in the United States
The Department of Labor (DOL or the Department) proposes to suspend for 9 months the H-2A regulations published on December 18, 2008, which became effective on January 17, 2009, that amended the rules governing the certification for temporary employment of nonimmigrant workers in agricultural occupations on a temporary or seasonal basis, and the enforcement of contractual obligations applicable to employers of such nonimmigrant workers. A suspension would provide the Department with an opportunity to review and reconsider the new requirements in light of issues that have arisen since the publication of the H-2A Final Rule, while minimizing the disruption to the Department, State Workforce Agencies (SWAs), employers, and workers. To avoid the regulatory vacuum that would result from a suspension, the Department proposes to reinstate on an interim basis the rules that were in place on January 16, 2009, the day before the revised rules became effective, by reprinting those previous regulations.
Proposed Extension of the Approval of Information Collection Requirements
The Department of Labor (DOL), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork and respondent burden, conducts a preclearance consultation program to provide the general public and Federal agencies with an opportunity to comment on proposed and/or continuing collections of information in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA95) [44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(2)(A)]. This program helps to ensure that requested data can be provided in the desired format, reporting burden (time and financial resources) is minimized, collection instruments are clearly understood, and the impact of collection requirements on respondents can be properly assessed. Currently, the Employment Standards Administration is soliciting comments concerning its proposal to extend OMB approval of the information collection: Health Insurance Claim Form (OWCP-1500). A copy of the proposed information collection request can be obtained by contacting the office listed below in the addresses section of this Notice.