H-2A Prevailing Wage Litigation
February 1, 2013

Tuesday, Jan. 29, Western Range Association, along with the American Sheep Industry Association, Nevada Wool Growers Association and individual growers in Nevada and Arizona filed a suit in the Reno Nevada Federal Court. The suit objected to the Department of Labor's (DOL) Jan. 8 Prevailing Wage Determination that doubled wages for H-2A sheepherders in two states with increases in two additional. The legal action requested a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) prohibiting the DOL from implementing the wage ruling. The case was assigned to Judge McKibben, a senior status judge in Reno. 
 
At the TRO hearing on Jan. 31, the DOL agreed not to implement the sheepherder prevailing wage increases in Arizona, Nevada, Washington and Oregon until a full hearing on the complaint can be heard. A decision on a permanent injunction would be made following. 
 
Steve Raftopoulos, Colorado sheep producer and president of Western Range Association, relayed that they expect that a hearing will be held on an expedited schedule, although that schedule has not yet been set.