Earlier this week, the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced that it was altering the procedure by which H-2B Visa applications will be processed. The change results from the system crash that DOL experienced early in January when the flood of H-2B visa applications overwhelmed and crashed their system. Going forward, all applications filed on or after July 3 “will be randomly ordered for processing based on the date of filing and the start date of work requested.” The new proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register sometime next week and when it is, it will be open for public comment for 30 days. In other DOL news, the agency also released its 2019 inflation-adjusted penalties for benefits-related violations. The adjustments are required by January 15 of each year in accordance with 2015 legislation, but in light of the shutdown back in January & February, the penalties were released late and became effective retroactive to January 23. The 2019 penalty for repeated and willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act minimum wage and overtime provisions increased from $1964 to $2014, while violations of the posting requirements of Family and Medical Leave law will cost violators $173, up from $169.