The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) is involved in the immigration process for H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 visa classifications. Specifically, the WHD enforces certain provisions of the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 programs to ensure that U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the hiring of H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 nonimmigrant workers, as well as to protect such nonimmigrant workers from potential abuse with respect to wages and working conditions. The DOL’s WHD has the authority to investigate H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 employers to ensure that they are in compliance with the terms of employment specified on the Labor Condition Application that is filed with the USCIS in conjunction with an H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 petition and/or filed with a U.S. consular post as part of an application for an H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 visa.
Investigations of employers conducted by WHD typically are the result of complaints filed by workers but may also be initiated by the WHD itself. The WHD may assess H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 employers with significant civil fines, as well as orders for payment of back wages to nonimmigrant workers, and even debarment from these immigration programs if the violations are significant enough to warrant such action.
Every employer that hires an H-1B, H-1B1 or E-3 worker is at risk of an investigation by DOL’s WHD. Larrabee Albi Coker LLP not only helps defend employers investigated by WHD, but also proactively partners with employers to review their compliance with these regulations, as well as determine an employer’s potential risk for a WHD investigation. We also work with companies to develop policies and processes to enable the company to meet its immigration-related obligations associated with the H-1B, H-1B1 and E-3 visa programs.