US Department of Labor Delays H-1B Foreign National High Skilled Wage Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor delayed the effective date of a rule that would make it more difficult for companies to hire high-skilled foreign talent.

On 12 March, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule to delay the implementation of its H-1B wage rule. The rule issued today delays the effective date to 14 May, 2021. The wage rule, released on 8 October 2020, would make it difficult for companies to hire high-skilled foreign nationals, especially entry-level talent, that fill critical roles in the U.S. as it would require employers to significantly increase what they pay H-1B beneficiaries.

Worldwide ERC® filed comments on the original rule in November, arguing on behalf of the workforce mobility industry that the rule would harm employers and jeopardize the hiring of foreign talent. On 8 February, Worldwide ERC® again filed comment on the proposed delay of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) final rule. In the published final rule delaying implementation of the wage rule, Worldwide ERC® was one of the 57 comment letters submitted during the comment period.

Originally scheduled to begin on 14 January, the rule will now be delayed until 14 May to allow agency officials “the opportunity to review any questions of fact, law, or policy.” Following the review, the agency could determine to move forward with a modified version of it and publish another proposed rule with request for comment.

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How This Impacts Mobility

Employers within the workforce mobility industry often rely on H-1B visas when hiring high-skilled foreign talent in the U.S. This wage rule would significantly impact these hires, especially entry-level hires, who are critical to getting the economy back on its feet after the COVID-19 crisis. The delay will ease this burden while allowing the stakeholder community to further advocate for a solution that benefits employers and H-1B beneficiaries. Should any member have questions regarding this rule, please reach out to our Vice President of Member Engagement and Public Policy Rebecca Peters, rpeters@worldwideerc.org.