The Department of Labor has recently enacted a new wage rule requiring businesses to pay their employees holding H-1B visas a mandated wage of $208,000 ($100 an hour). According to the DOL website, this mandated wage is set regardless of experience or the position they are applying for. An example of this would be the case of a software engineer, who has an average starting salary of $70,600. With this mandate, employers would have to pay these visa holders $137,000 over the market value for an entry level position. Software engineers are not the only workers who will be turned away because of this; this issue will affect most professions that H-1 visa holders apply for.
In a new lawsuit against this wage rule, Purdue University et al. v. Eugene Scalia et al., Purdue university emphasized how the Department of Labor neglected to foresee the consequences of this rule on universities. Universities are not able to hire anyone holding H-1B visas considering this wage rule is far above the market value for entry level college professors. Another issue this case brings up is the shortage of primary care physicians there is and how this mandate will only worsen the gap. In the case of Indiana, there is a shortage of primary care physicians in medically underserved areas and this would only increase the amount of people unable to get necessary medical treatment.
These issues will affect plenty of professions and only exposes the need for the H-1B visa holders in our economy. Since these companies are not able to afford these workers, they will be turned away and forced to leave the United States. No matter how big our shortages get in these professions, these companies will be unable to hire these workers on and this will expose the errors of this mandate. Purdue University at al. v. Eugene Scalia et al. is set to go to court on November 13, 2020 to dispute this new wage rule and to prove this mandate lacked “good cause.”
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