For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Hoffman (202) 314-2054 or Kelly.Hoffman@NFIB.org
WASHINGTON, March 12, 2014- The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small Business Legal Center has joined with the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence and Cato Institute in an amicus filing asking the Supreme Court to take up Peri & Sons Farms, Inc., v. Victor Rivera Rivera. The amicus brief argues that the case provides a good opportunity for the Supreme Court to reconsider its’ rule that courts generally defer to an agency’s interpretation of an ambiguous regulation. The brief argues that this rule is a scam which creates perverse incentives for agencies to issue ambiguous regulations, and that constitutional principles require courts—not federal agencies—to determine what the law actually is.
“We are asking the Supreme Court to hear this case since it is of great importance to small business owners who constantly have to navigate a perpetually shifting regulatory jungle,” said Karen Harned, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “Small business owners already face a rising tide of regulations which try to control almost every aspect of their companies and the Ninth Circuit’s ruling gives even more power to agencies to push their own vague regulations.”
Peri & Sons Farms, the petitioner, hired farmworkers through the United States Department of Labor’s H-2A program. The H-2A farmworkers, who were from Mexico, claimed they had expenses related to their employment with Peri & Sons including hiring/recruitment fees, H-2A visas, and lodging. Peri & Sons Farms argued that that reimbursement was not necessary because the expenses were incurred for the benefit of the employee and not the employer. However, the Ninth Circuit deferred to regulations the DOL issued in 2009 requiring employers of H-2A guest workers to reimburse the workers for most travel and immigration expenses within the first week of their employment.
The NFIB Small Business Legal Center is a 501(c)(3) organization created to protect the rights of America's small business owners by providing advisory material on legal issues and by ensuring that the voice of small business is heard in the nation's courts. The National Federation of Independent Business is the nation’s leading small business association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals.