Lawsuit challenging H1B wage increase filed in the US

Vastavam web: Seventeen individuals and organisations, including universities and businesses, have filed a lawsuit against the US Department of Labor challenging its recent Interim Final Rule on wages related to H1B visas. The lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday alleged that the poorly-drafted and improperly-issued rule did not comply with the procedural rules for rule-making and is substantively arbitrary, incorrect and irrational.

The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. It is most sought-after among Indian IT professionals. “Frankly, the last thing we need during a (COVID-19) pandemic and economic turmoil is a rule based on a false and incorrect understanding of the market and American workforce. This will impede our economic recovery, not enhance it,” Bless, director of federal litigation at the American Immigration Lawyers Association said.

Early this month, the Department of Labor published a rule to appropriately identify wage levels for H-1B holders and other foreign labour programmes, which according to the White House will improve the quality of H-1B workers and better reflect wages paid to similarly employed workers in the US. The rule will limit an employer’s ability to replace workers with cheap foreign labour and help ensure wages are not suppressed by the presence of low-cost foreign workers, the White House argued.