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Immigration Law

New H-2B Prevailing Wage, Program Regulations

Program Interim Final Rule: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are jointly issuing regulations governing the certification of the employment of nonimmigrant workers in temporary or seasonal nonagricultural employment and the enforcement of the obligations applicable to employers of such nonimmigrant workers.  This interim final rule establishes the process by which employers obtain a temporary labor certification from DOL for use in petitioning DHS to employ a nonimmigrant worker in H–2B status.  We are also issuing regulations to provide for increased worker protections for both United States (U.S.) and foreign workers.  DHS and DOL are issuing simultaneously with this rule a companion rule governing the methodology to set the prevailing wage in the H–2B program.  DATES: This interim final rule is effective April 29, 2015.  Interested persons are invited to submit written comments on this interim final rule on or before June 29, 2015." - Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 82 / Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

Prevailing Wage Final Rule: "The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) are issuing final regulations governing certification of the employment of nonimmigrant workers in temporary or seasonal nonagricultural employment.  This final rule sets forth how DOL provides the consultation that DHS has determined is necessary to adjudicate H–2B visa petitions by setting the methodology by which DOL calculates the prevailing wages to be paid to H–2B workers and U.S. workers recruited in connection with applications for temporary labor certification.  Specifically, for the purposes of an H–2B temporary labor certification, this final rule establishes that, in the absence of a wage set in a valid and controlling collective bargaining agreement, the prevailing wage will be the mean wage for the occupation in the pertinent geographic area derived from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics survey, unless the H–2B employer meets the conditions for requesting that the prevailing wage be based on an employer-provided survey.  Any such survey submitted must meet the new methodological criteria established in this final rule in order to be used to establish the prevailing wage.  The final rule does not permit use of the wage determinations issued under the Service Contract Act or the Davis Bacon Act as sources to set the prevailing wage in the H–2B temporary labor certification context.  DHS and DOL are issuing this final rule together because DHS, as the Executive Branch agency charged with administering the H–2B program, has determined that the most effective implementation of the statutory H–2B labor protections requires that DHS consult with DOL for its advice about matters with which DOL has expertise, including questions about the methodology for setting the prevailing wage in the H–2B program. DHS (and the former Immigration and Naturalization Service, Department of Justice, which was charged with administration of the H–2B program prior to enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002) has long recognized that DOL is the appropriate agency with which to consult regarding the availability of U.S. workers and for assuring that wages and working conditions of U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the use of H–2B workers.  This rule also adopts, without change, certain revisions made to DHS’s H–2B regulations, to clarify that DHS is the Executive Branch agency charged with making determinations regarding eligibility for H–2B classifications, after consulting with DOL for its advice about matters with which DOL has expertise, including questions related to the methodology for setting the prevailing wage in the H–2B program.  Finally, DHS and DOL are issuing, simultaneously with this rule, a companion H–2B rule governing the certification of the employment of nonimmigrant workers in temporary or seasonal non-agricultural employment and the enforcement of the obligations applicable to employers of such nonimmigrant workers.  DATES: This final rule is effective April 29, 2015." - Federal Register / Vol. 80, No. 82 / Wednesday, April 29, 2015.