In the spring of 2009, U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis suspended regulations for the H-2A guestworker program that would have slashed wages for guestworkers and U.S. workers alike.
The decision meant guestworker employers would pay wages based on the previous regulations, which had been in effect for 20 years. These wages would be higher than the wages required by the new regulations passed in the waning days of the Bush administration in late 2008.
A federal court blocked the secretary’s suspension from going into effect after a group of guestworker employers filed suit. The Southern Poverty Law Center intervened in the case on behalf of H-2A guestworkers to seek to recover the higher wages they would have earned under the suspension.