WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today published a final rule amending its regulations regarding the adjudication of temporary and seasonal need for employers seeking herding or production of livestock on the range job opportunities. The rule appears in today’s Federal Register.

The regulation governing the period of need for range occupations had allowed employers of sheep and goat herders to apply for a temporary agricultural labor certification for a period of up to 364 days. As part of a legal challenge – “Hispanic Affairs Project v. Acosta” – in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the parties reached a court-approved settlement agreement in which the department agreed to engage in rulemaking to propose to rescind the regulation at issue.

The department’s Employment and Training Administration subsequently published a notice of proposed rulemaking on May 6, 2021, that proposed rescinding the regulation in order to ensure the department’s adjudication of temporary or seasonal need is conducted in the same manner for all H-2A applications.

The department received eight comments from the public during the 30-day comment period associated with the May notice of proposed rulemaking. After considering those comments, the department has decided to adopt as final the proposed rescission.

Read the final rule in the Federal Register.

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