US Department of Labor Announces an 18-Month Delay for the Prevailing Wage Rule

On Thursday, May 13, the U.S. Department of Labor announced an 18-month delay of the final rule, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States.” The rule would raise the wage requirements for high-skilled worker visas.

The final rule affects employers seeking to employ foreign workers on a permanent or temporary basis through certain immigrant visas or through H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 nonimmigrant visas.  With the delay, the final rule will now go into effect on Nov. 14, 2022. This delay was first proposed in March 2021.

The delay will provide the department with sufficient time to consider the final rule’s legal and policy issues and to review the public comments received in response to a Request for Information published on April 2, 2021. The RFI seeks information about potential sources and methods for determining prevailing wage levels.

The delay will also give agency officials sufficient time to compute and validate prevailing wage data covering specific occupations and geographic areas, complete necessary system modifications, and conduct public outreach. This follows an initial 60-day delay. The department based this action on a Jan. 20, 2021, White House memo.

Read the final rule finalizing the delay, now available online for public inspection.