H-1B Employers Facing Increased Scrutiny


The increasingly popular H-1B visa program, which allows U.S. employers to hire a certain number of foreign workers each year in so-called “specialty occupations” (including occupations in science, technology and engineering) is now coming under more watchful eyes at various federal agencies concerned about employment abuses.

H-1B employers should be particularly wary of actions taken by the U.S. Department of Labor against those suspected of non-compliance with pertinent labor rules affecting H-1B workers.

First, employers must pay the “prevailing wage rates” for a particular skilled occupation in the area in which the worker is plying his or her trade. Employers must also pay the same fringe benefits to H-1B workers that they do to other workers, and afford them the same working conditions.

Second, employers are not permitted to reduce the pay of any H-1B worker due to lack of work, nor can they otherwise refuse to compensate such a worker for down time. If the employer cannot pay such a worker as a full-time employee, then the employer must cancel the H-1B visa and pay for the employee’s return trip back to their native country.

Finally, employers of H-1B workers cannot charge them for filing fees, attorney’s fees or other expenses associated with the filing of H-1B petitions.

If you are an employer in need of legal assistance in procuring foreign labor, please do not hesitate to contact our office at (847) 564-0712 for an appointment to speak with a qualified attorney. You can also check out our immigration law Website for more information about how we might assist you.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Ronald Shapiro | Attorney Advertising

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