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.