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DOL issues rule restructuring prevailing wage system, increasing minimums

  1. Original Date Announced

    January 14, 2021

    The DOL publishes a new final rule, supplanting an enjoined interim final rule, that will gradually raise all four salary tiers over a period of a year and a half for the H-1B, E-3, H-1B1 and PERM programs, with the first increase set to occur on July 1, 2021. The final rule contains significant prevailing wage increases for all wage levels, though not as high as those initially sought by DOL in the now-enjoined interim rule.

    The interim final rule, issued on October 8, 2020, had attempted to immediately amend Employment and Training Administration (ETA) regulations at 20 CFR § 656 and 20 CFR § 655, subpart H, to restructure the prevailing wage system. The rule would have increased the wage minimums; entry-level wages for H-1B and PERM cases, for example, would have increased from the 17th percentile to the 45th percentile of wages for the occupation and geographic location. [ID #1091]

    85 FR 63872 86 FR 3608
  2. Effective Date

    March 15, 2021
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  4. Biden Administration Action: Delayed

    March 12, 2021

    Fed. Reg. Notice - Delay of Effective Date for DOL

    This Biden Administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On March 12, 2021, the Department of Labor finalized its February 1, 2021 proposal to delay the effective date of the DOL wage-hike rule by 60 days, allowing the agency to review submitted comments. The new effective date is May 14, 2021.

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  5. Biden Administration Action: Delayed

    March 22, 2021

    Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in the United States: Proposed Delay of Effective and Transition Dates

    This Biden Administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On March 22, 2021, the Biden DOL proposed further delaying the effective date of the rule by eighteen months or until November 14, 2022, along with corresponding proposed delays to the rule's transition dates.

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  6. Biden Administration Action: Delayed

    May 13, 2021

    2021.05.13 Federal Register

    This Biden Administration policy modifies the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On May 13, 2021, the Biden DOL issued a final rule announcing it will delay the effective date of the rule for 18 months until November 14, 2022, along with corresponding proposed delays to the rule's transition dates.

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  7. Biden Administration Action: Revoked/Replaced

    December 13, 2021

    2021.12.13 Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in the United States, Implementation of Vacatur

    This Biden administration policy revokes in full the Trump-era policy identified in this entry.

    On December 13, 2021, DOL implemented the vacatur of the January 14, 2021 final rule on the computation of prevailing wage levels ordered by the Federal district court. The rule restores the regulatory text to appear as it did before the October 8, 2021 interim final rule.

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Current Status

Not in effect
March 12, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration
March 22, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration
May 13, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration
December 13, 2021
Acted on by Biden Administration

Original Trump Policy Status

Trump Administration Action: Rule
Agencies Affected: DOL

Pre Trump-Era Policies

  • Regulation regarding prevailing wage determinations for PERM applications as it existed prior to this rulemaking.

    20 CFR § 656.40
  • Regulation regarding prevailing wage determinations for nonimmigrant labor certification applications as it existed prior to this rulemaking.

    20 CFR § 655 Subpart H

Commentary

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