The Department of Labor (DOL) has released its FY 2014 statistics on prevailing wage determinations for U.S. employers in connection with the sponsorship for foreign workers. This report provides interesting insight into prevailing wage requests by U.S. employers and their representatives for H-1B petitions, H-2B petitions and PERM labor certifications. It also reveals some broader business immigration trends.

By way of background, all U.S. employers must first establish that the wages it is offering foreign national employees are the same level as or higher than the “prevailing wage” for any given position before securing certain temporary (e.g., H-1B and  H-2B visas) and permanent (e.g., PERM labor certifications) employment-based benefits for them. For temporary visas the employer is given a choice of either performing a self-determination of the appropriate prevailing wage or requesting a prevailing wage determination from the DOL. If the employer receives the determination from the DOL this determination cannot be challenged in a future investigation, providing the employer a “safe harbor”. For the PERM process, however, the employer is required to obtain the prevailing wage determination from the DOL directly and is not permitted to perform a self-determination.  There is no fee to request a prevailing wage determination from the DOL, but the wait time to receive a determination is a burdensome six to eight weeks.

Continue Reading DOL Report on FY2014 Prevailing Wage Determinations Provides Some Surprising Data for Employers