Tuesday, February 28, 2017

THE $130,000 MINIMUM H-1B SALARY RUMOR IS FALSE

Over the last few weeks many news outlets have been reporting that the minimum salary for an H-1B worker will rise from $60,000 to $130,000.  This is false.  There is not a minimum floor salary for H-1B workers.  There is no proposal to raise that nonexistent floor to $130,000.

There are proposals that seek to raise the minimum salary floor for companies who seek an exemption to the H-1B dependent attestations.  This is significantly different than minimum floor salary for H-1B workers.

Companies that employ more than 15% H-1B workers (so-called “H-1B dependent employers”) have to make two attestations for employees who either (i) do not earn $60,000 or (ii) do not hold a US equivalent master’s degree. 

Displacement Attestation 20 CFR 655.738: The Displacement Attestation is ensures that U.S. workers are not being terminated or laid off in order to make room for an H-1B worker.  H-1B dependent employers who are seeking to employ an H-1B worker who is to earn less than $60,000 (or does not hold a US equivalent master’s degree) must make the Displacement Attestation.

Recruitment Attestation  20 CFR 655.739: The Recruitment Attestation proves  that an H-1B employer is attempting to make a good faith effort to recruit U.S. workers.  H-1B dependent employers who are seeking to employ an H-1B worker who is to earn less than $60,000 (or does not hold a US equivalent master’s degree) must also make the Recruitment Attestation.

Again, these attestations do not have to be made if the employer offers a salary in excess of $60,000 or if the H-1B worker holds the equivalent of a US master’s degree.

There are two different pieces of proposed legislation that have been introduced into Congress that seek to raise the exemption floor from $60,000.  Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)’s proposal raises the $60,000 to $100,000.  Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s bill proposes that the exemption floor could be raised to $130,000.  It is the Lofrgren bill that is the cause of the headlines.

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