The Trump Administration released an interim final rule further restricting H1B regulations on October 6, 2020. The updated regulations redefine Specialty Occupation, limit validity of H1B Visas to one year for workers placed at third party work sites, and increases the enforcement tools to police companies that do not abide by H1B visa rules or cooperate with the site visit.
A new Department of Labor rule is slated to go into effect to discourage companies from undercutting American employees. The rule goes into effect in 60 days. Changes will likely be challenged in court, as it was done without public comment.
This comes on the heels of a bizarre announcement last Friday that the agency had withdrawn the agenda. But just four days later came the following statement:
We have entered an era in which economic security is an integral part of homeland security. Put simply, economic security is homeland security.
Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf
This is important, because the administration is going to have to rationalize why they dropped this announcement as an interim final rule instead of leaving it open to comment for sixty days. That means they will have to come up with a national interest issue
Details of the Changes
The updated regulations will:
- redefine (restrict) the term “specialty occupation”,
- limit the valid term of the H-1B visa to just one year for workers placed at third party worksites,
- and add new enforcement tools for policing companies that do not follow the rules or cooperate with site visits.
At the same time a new Department of Labor rule is slated to go into effect requiring employers to increase what they pay to H-1B visa holders, in an effort to discourage companies from undercutting American workers’ salaries. It will be interesting to see how much higher these “prevailing wage” requirements are set.
The rules, which do not go into effect for sixty days, will also heighten requirements for businesses to hire foreign workers on the H-1B visa, according to the details reported in numerous sources.
The changes may be challenged in court, as the rule was implemented without the usual public comment period. Trump’s previous ban on H-1B visas was overturned by a Federal Court just last Friday, on a similar argument.
I understand, from my conversations with litigators today, that this rule will be attacked immediately. Lawyers have been watching and waiting for this announcement, they have litigated successfully against previously imposed rules, and are likely to move very quickly against this latest announcement.
Watch our update video for more details.