minimum wage hearing set for Jan. 28
by Dan Wheat, Capital Press
A U.S. district judge in Washington, D.C., has set a Jan. 28
hearing on arguments about a preliminary injunction to halt
increases in the minimum wage for H-2A-visa foreign guestworkers
that took effect Jan. 9.
Judge Timothy J. Kelly will hear arguments at 2 p.m. on Jan. 28,
said Michael Marsh, president and CEO of the National Council
for Agricultural Employers in Washington, D.C.
NCAE and Peri & Sons Farms, Yerington, Nev., filed a lawsuit
against the U.S. Department of Labor on Jan. 7 seeking to stop
increases for 2019 they say are arbitrary, unsubstantiated and
will cause irreparable harm to many farms.
The Department of Justice is representing DOL in opposing a
The increases average 6.3 percent nationwide and are 22.8
percent in Nevada, Utah and Colorado. Peri & Sons, a
fresh-market vegetable farm that employed 1,768 H-2A workers in
2018, estimates the 2019 increase will cost it about $3.7
million, threatening its viability.
The H-2A minimum wage, known as the Adverse Effect Wage Rate, or
AEWR, has gone from $10.69 per hour to $13.13 per hour in those
It has increased from $14.12 to $15.03 in Washington and Oregon,
the highest in the nation, and affects a lot of Washington
growers, mostly in tree fruit, who hired 24,862 H-2A workers in
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