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Key Points 
  • DOL has delayed implementation of its final rule, “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States,” until May 14, 2021
  • DOL published the final rule in the Federal Register on January 14, 2021
  • The agency proposed a delay of the rule’s effective date following a January 20, 2021 presidential memo
  • DOL postponed the rule’s effective date to May 14, 2021 from its initial implementation date of March 14, 2021
  • The final wage regulations apply to PERM, H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 applications
  • Higher wage levels are still scheduled to apply on July 1, 2021 through a phased-in schedule
  • Litigation regarding the final wage rule is ongoing
Today, the Department of Labor (DOL) confirmed that it will delay the effective date of the final rule “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States” until May 14, 2021.
The final rule on wage protections was initially published in the Federal Register on January 14, 2021. On February 1, 2021, DOL proposed to delay the rule’s effective date until May 14, 2021 in accordance with a presidential memo titled “Regulatory Freeze Pending Review” that was issued by President Biden on January 20, 2021. Initially, the rule was scheduled to take effect on March 14, 2021.
The final rule’s implementation date was postponed giving the agency time to review questions of law, fact, or policy.  After receiving comments from stakeholders, the agency decided to officially delay the final rule’s implementation for an additional 60 days.
Who is Affected? 
The final rule will adjust required wages for PERM, H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 applications.
What Should Employers and Applicants Know? 
Although the final rule’s effective date has been postponed, the delay does not impact the gradual phase-in of higher wage obligations, which are scheduled to begin on July 1, 2021, pending ongoing litigation and governmental action.
Looking Ahead 
Litigation is ongoing regarding the wage regulation final rule. Updates will be provided as available.
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