Department of Labor Issues New Regulations Affecting H-1B Workers

Posted 10/09/20

On October 7, 2020, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued new regulations that went into effect October 8, 2020.  The effect of the new regulations is to substantially increase the DOL-determined prevailing wage for all occupations across the U.S.  This will, in turn, greatly increase wages that employers must pay H‑1B workers, beginning on the effective date of a new H‑1B petition extension or change of employer petition, and, for a PERM case, at the time of green card issuance.

The regulations change the basis on which the levels for DOL’s salary survey are calculated.  DOL’s salary survey is the default survey utilized by DOL to calculate prevailing wages for PERM cases and utilized by employers to calculate prevailing wages for H-1B cases.  Levels are used by DOL to categorize wages based on job requirements (education, experience, tasks, skills, etc.) and include entry level, qualified, experienced, and fully competent (Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4.)  The new regulations now require DOL to use a much higher percentile of average wages when calculating each of the levels.  The overall impact is that the prevailing wages for H-1B petitions and PERM applications are going to be much higher than before.

These new wages will not apply immediately to employees who are currently working pursuant to an approved H-1B.  However, the new wages will apply at the next H-1B extension and as the required wage for a green card case, in PERM cases for which we have not yet received the prevailing wage/job classification from DOL.

Please contact Haight Law Group, PC for additional information.