Department of Labor PROPOSES 18-MONTH DELAY ON Revised Final Rule to Increase Prevailing Wage Levels

Practice Areas

By Min Kim

The Department of Labor (DOL) published an amended version of their October 2020 rule which will increase prevailing wage levels for employment-based visas including H-1B, H-1B1, E-3, and certain green cards. Under the amended rule, prevailing wages will increase for most occupations, but not as significantly as they did in the original rule.

The rule was scheduled to go into effect on or around March 14, 2021. However, the DOL proposed delaying the rule for an additional 18 months on March 22, 2021 to give the agency more time to consider the rule’s implications and gather public comments.

Background on the Rule

DOL’s original rule increasing prevailing wages was set aside by a federal district court in December 2020 because the rule went into effect immediately and did not allow enough time for the traditional 60-day public comment period.

Prevailing wages are the minimum amount that employers must pay their employees who are in H-1B, H-1B1, E-3 nonimmigrant visa status, and those who are being sponsored for certain employment-based US permanent residency applications. They are determined based on a worker’s occupation type, geographic area, and job responsibilities. Prevailing wages exist to ensure that hiring foreign national workers does not negatively impact US workers.

Next Steps for the Rule

Our immigration team will closely monitor the development of this rule and will issue any updates as soon as they are available.

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