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.