The requirement of obtaining a certified Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) prior to filing a petition for an H-1B worker was imposed by the Immigration Act of 1990. The requirement serves two related purposes: ensuring that U.S. wages are not depressed by the hiring of foreign labor and protecting foreign workers from exploitation. In order to have an LCA certified, an employer makes specific representations regarding the conditions under which the foreign worker will be employed. These attestations are as follows:
- The employer will pay the required wage, which is the greater of the prevailing wage or the actual wage paid to other employees in the same position.
- The employment of H-1B workers will not adversely effect the working conditions of U.S. workers.
- When the LCA was filed, there was no strike, lockout or other work stoppage because of a labor dispute.
- The H-1B worker will be given a copy of the LCA, and the employer has notified the bargaining representative if the job is unionized, or if not, has posted in a notice in two conspicuous places that an LCA was filed.
The LCA is electronically processed through the iCert Portal, a Department of Labor website, and takes about five to seven business days to be obtained.