A group of information technology companies filed a lawsuit on Friday evening against the Trump administration raising the salaries that employers must pay foreign workers with H-1B visas to strengthen visa eligibility.
Trump administration launched Long-awaited reorganization of the H-1B visa program Last week, this program for high-skilled workers is highly appreciated by U.S. hi-tech companies and other employers.
Some of the amendments issued by the Department of Labor went into effect last Thursday, bypassing the customary period of public comment. The rules of this department significantly increase the minimum salary a company needs to pay H-1B employees.
The suit of the ITServe Alliance, a trading group representing information companies, has been brought before the US District Court in New Jersey.
The lawsuit “without giving plaintiffs or the general public an opportunity to comment without prior notice, the Department of Labor has dramatically changed the way the general wage is calculated for the H-1B program.
The lawsuit claims that the Trump administration has cut corners by issuing rules in emergencies rather than conducting a full analysis of current visa holders and their impact on the economy, and incorporating potential changes based on public feedback.
The Ministry of Labor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
A separate lawsuit is expected next week over another rule issued by the Department of Homeland Security. These rules narrow the H-1B visa eligibility and shorten the duration of certain contract workers. This rule is expected to come into effect in December.
New wage requirements from the Ministry of Labor, which rely on wage surveys across jobs and regions, require enterprises to pay new workers in the 45th percentile compared to current obligations paid in at least the 17th percentile. Currently, the top employee who needs to be paid in the 67th percentile should be paid in the 95th.
For example, a beginner electrical engineer in San Jose, California will receive at least $127,042 compared to $88,712 before the new rule went into effect.
It is likely that the new rule has so far only affected some H-1B holders. This is only for those who are in the early stages of filing a renewal application. But if it’s still valid, it could have a big impact on small businesses like tech startups where cash is limited to pay higher wages.
writing Michelle Hackman’s [email protected]
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