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PW To Delay PERM? RIR Out The Window?

Section 423 of the recently enacted H-1B visa relief legislation says in part "Where the Secretary of Labor uses, or makes available to employers, a governmental survey to determine the prevailing wage, such survey shall provide at least 4 levels of wages commensurate with experience, education, and the level of supervision. Where an existing government survey has only 2 levels, 2 intermediate levels may be created by dividing by 3, the difference between the 2 levels offered, adding the quotient thus obtained to the first level and subtracting that quotient from the second level." Some have suggested that since this provision applies equally to H-1Bs and Labor Certs, the DOL needs to amend the PERM regulation's language to incorporate the new statutorily mandated Prevailing Wage standards. We look at this as establishing an outer limit for PERM publication - early March - since that is when this provision of law goes into effect. However, there is nothing to prevent DOL from getting PERM published first, and then work on an amendment on Prevailing Wage that would apply equally to H-1Bs and Labor Cert cases. That may in fact be a more efficient use of DOL's limited regulation writing resources.

Of more pressing concern are recent reports out of California and other SWAs that DOL's First-in, First-out ("FIFO") concept in processing the labor cert backlog is effectively non-operational in view of DOL's 12/3/04 Carlson Memo as its terms confront budgetary reality and other ugly truths at the SWAs. What may alarm practitioners the most is that RIR cases will in most instances not reach the Backlog Centers at all in the first round of backlog elimination under the terms of DOL's 12/3/04 Carlson Memo. Since this is happening under the spectre of the SWAs' shut-down of their labor cert processing functions, including RIR cases in later rounds of backlog elimination may be cold comfort to practitioners since the RIR system is headed for hibernation over the next few months. Stay on top of fast-moving events in labor certs by signing up for ILW.COM's latest labor cert seminar (discussion led by Angelo Paparelli). The deadline to sign up is Tuesday, December 14th. For more info, detailed curriculum, speaker bios, and registration information, see: (Fax version:

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