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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

Determining Prevailing Wage Requirement for Visas of Domestic Workers


UNCLASSIFIED   STATE   00141634
R 011637Z AUG 05
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ALL DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR POSTS COLLECTIVE
SUBJECT: DETERMINING PREVAILING WAGE REQUIREMENT FOR VISAS
OF DOMESTIC EMPLOYEES
REF:    (A) 04 STATE 067428      (B) 9 FAM 41.21 N6.2
(C) 9 FAM 41.31 N6.3-2

1.  The Department of Labor's prevailing wage statistics
for alien labor certification requirements have been
updated for 2005.  The Department of State considers these
prevailing wage statistics to most closely reflect a fair
living wage for servants and personal employees, and
instructs consular officers to rely upon these figures
when determining whether employment contract provisions
satisfy applicable prevailing wage requirements in Refs B
and C for applicants of A-3, G-5, NATO-7 and B-1 visas for
domestics.  DOL maintains an Alien Labor
Certification/Occupational Employment Survey (ALC-OES)
database that breaks down prevailing wage statistics by
occupation and metropolitan area.  This information is
available on the web at www.flcdatacenter.com.

2.  The Level One hourly prevailing wage for 2005 in the
ALC-OES database for "Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners" is
$9.86/hour in the New York City area, $7.08/hour in the
Washington, DC area, and $6.07/hour in the Miami, FL area.
3.  Consular officers should ensure that the terms of the
contract are clear and that they conform to the
requirements of 9 FAM 41.21 N6.2 and 41.22 N4.4, including
in particular payment for time the employee is required to
remain on premises after hours, employee's retention of
passport, and employee's right to leave the premises when
not on duty.  At the time of interview, consular officers
should inform all domestic workers that they will be
subject to and protected by U.S. law while in the United
States, that their contracts create obligations on the
part of both employee and employer.

4.  Domestic workers should be advised that the U.S.
Government considers "involuntary servitude" of domestic
workers, as defined under the Trafficking Victims
Protection Act (TVPA), to be a severe form of trafficking
in persons (TIP) and a serious criminal offense; victims
of involuntary servitude are offered protection under the
TVPA.  According to the TVPA "The term 'involuntary
servitude' includes a condition of servitude induced by
means of (A) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to
cause a person to believe that, if the person did not
enter into or continue in such condition, that person or
another person would suffer serious harm or physical
restraints; or (B) the abuse or threatened abuse of the
legal process."  Consular officers should also make
domestic workers aware that the telephone number for
police and emergency services is 911, and that the
Department of Health and Human Services maintains a
telephone hotline for reporting abuse of domestic
employees and other TIP-related crimes, 1-888-3737-888.

RICE



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