IT group challenges new H-1B visa rules in Court; More suits expected

A group of information technology companies has challenged Trump administration’s new visa rule which seeks salary hike for high-skilled foreign workers on H-1B visas. According to the Washington Post, the law suit was filed by IT Serve Alliance, a trade group representing information companies. The suit was filed in the U.S District Court in New Jersey.

One part of the proposal announced by the Department of Labor came into effect last Thursday, skipping the customary public-comment period. The department’s rule significantly raises the minimum salaries companies are required to pay their H-1B employees, the Washington Post report said.

“Without providing prior notice and without affording Plaintiffs or the general public an opportunity to comment, the Department of Labor dramatically altered the manner in which it calculates prevailing wage rates for the H-1B program,” the suit states.

The suit states that the Trump administration took shortcuts by issuing the rule on an emergency basis, rather than conducting a full analysis of its impact on current visa holders and the economy, and incorporating potential changes based on public feedback, says the Washington Post.

According to the report,separate lawsuits are expected as soon as next week against another set of rules, which reportedly tightens the eligibility to qualify for an H-1B visa and shorten its duration for certain contract workers. That rule is expected to be implemented in December.

As per the new rules, the companies would be needed to pay entry-level workers at the 45th percentile.Currently, they be paid at least at the 17th percentile. Top-level employees, who are currently required to receive salaries at the 67th percentile, would need to be paid at the 95th.
An entry-level electrical engineer in San Jose, Calif., for example, would be paid at least $127,042, compared with $88,712 before the new rule took effect, according to Labor Department data.