The Department of Labor (DOL) has revised and reissued a prevailing wage rule that lifts wages for H-1B, E-3, and H-1B1 nonimmigrant cases and the PERM labor certification program. Though the rule is to take effect March 15, increased wage minimums will not be imposed until July 1, and will be coupled with a multi-year phase-in period.
- The regulation will restructure the prevailing wage system for the H-1B, E-3, H-1B1 and PERM Programs, imposing higher government wage minimums, though not as high as those initially sought by DOL.
- Entry-level wages for H-1B and PERM cases, for example, will increase to the 35th percentile of wages for the occupation and geographic location, from the 17th percentile— just above the current wage minimum for Level II.
- Though the rule is to take effect March 15, 2021, increased wage minimums will not be imposed until July 1, 2021 and will be coupled with a multi-year phase-in period.
- Most positions will undergo an 18-month transition period. However, special adjustments are to be made for the next three and a half years for H-1B workers who, as of October 8, 2020, were the beneficiaries of an I-140 petition or eligible for a post-sixth year H-1B extension.
- The rule could be placed on hold by the incoming Biden Administration as it reviews this and other rules finalized in the last days of the Trump Administration. The regulation could also be challenged in federal court.