Shortly after USCIS announced plans last week for increased enforcement efforts against H-1B employers, the U.S. Department of Labor also issued its own news release summarizing how it will help detect H-1B fraud and abuse. The DOL plans to protect U.S. workers from H-1B program discrimination by providing “greater transparency and oversight.”
The DOL memo states that the department fully supports the U.S. Department of Justice in cautioning employers who petition for H-1B visas not to discriminate against U.S. workers, as well as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse.
The memo states that the DOL will protect American workers against discrimination through the following actions:
- Rigorously using all of its existing authority to initiate investigations of H-1B program violators. This effort to protect U.S. workers will also involve greater coordination with other federal agencies, including the departments of Homeland Security and Justice for additional investigation and, if necessary, prosecution.
- Considering changes to the Labor Condition Application for future application cycles. The Labor Condition Application, which is a required part of the H-1B visa application process, may be updated to provide greater transparency for agency personnel, U.S. workers and the general public.
- Continuing to engage stakeholders on how the program might be improved to provide greater protections for U.S. workers, under existing authorities or through legislative changes.
The DOL also encourages the use of a new established email address ([email protected]) which will allow individuals (including both American workers and H-1B workers who suspect that they or others may be the victim of H-1B fraud or abuse) to submit tips, alleged violations and other relevant information about potential H-1B fraud or abuse. Individuals can also report allegations of H-1B violations by submitting Form WH-4 to the department’s Wage and Hour Division.
If you have questions on the H-1B visa category, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our knowledgeable attorneys today!