ATTENTION: DOL investigations under the new administration

The H-1B temporary (non-immigrant) workers program responsibilities are divided among various government agencies:  the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employment Training Administration (ETA); the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS); the U.S. Department of State (DOS); and the DOL Employment Standards Administration’s Wage and Hour Division (WH).

 

The ETA certifies the Labor Condition Application (LCA), which employers need to file along with Form I-129 to USCIS. The LCA, among other things, describes the employment conditions such as wage and location. By signing the LCA, employers certify to the government that they will comply with the terms of the LCA. Specifically, they certify that they will pay the H1B temporary worker the salary indicated in the LCA.

 

To ensure compliance with the LCA requirements, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that the Secretary of Labor may initiate investigation in any of the following events: (1) aggrieved party complaints; (2) following receipt of information from a credible source; (3) for reasonable cause; and (4) random investigation of a willful violator. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(n)(2).

Taking into account the recement development from the current administration, the U.S. immigration law community anticipates even more wide speared investigations into companies that employee H1B temporary workers. DOL can use the currently available legal authority to investigate employers. If the investigations reveal LCA violations, the employer can be subject to different kinds of sanctions including back pay, civil fines, and more.

It is worth to note that a single aggrieved employee complaints can trigger a wide-spread DOL investigation. Therefore, it is very important to conduct self-initiated in-house audit to ensure compliance with the LCA requirements. This self-initiated in-house audit will also be very useful should an actual DOL audit is issued.

How we can help:

Anticipating this need, our firm is offering this in-house self-audit to employers. In just few steps on our portal, employers can initiate the audit process. Our firm is prepared to provide the following legal services with our attorneys experienced in the filed:

  1. Gather and compile Public Access Files.
  2. Review years of payment records and LCA wage compliance.
  3. Review years of client-site placements in compliance with the LCA.
  4. Rectify LCA violations through settlement agreement or other corrective measures.

To benefit from this service, go to https://myesq.bizlegalservices.com/ and click on “DOL Audit”