Remote work has become common. However, companies with foreign national employees sometimes make it more difficult to stay in compliance. Some companies may need to adapt their practices to make sure that their foreign national workers comply with the requirements of the USCIS and the Department of Labor. Those foreign national employees with H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 visas must have a certified Labor Condition Application (LCA) obtained from the Department of Labor to enable them to keep their work authorization in the United States. The wage required by an LCA depends on the location of the employment as well as the occupation of the worker. Because of the fact that employment locations will vary when an employee is working remotely, some LCAs might need to be managed differently.
The United States Citizens and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires that employers file an LCA with the Department of Labor in order to file any H-1B, H-1B1, and E-3 application. This document is used to verify that the wages for specific foreign national workers are equal to or above the prevailing wage for workers in the specific occupation in the region in which the worker will be employed.
It is also important for employers to check to see if there are any regulations that state when Public Access Files (PAFs) are required to be available for the public to inspect. This is important because if a business does not comply with LCA or PAF requirements, they may have to pay back wages, civil penalties, or even be removed from the H-1B program.
Before remote work became common, employees would typically work in one office location. This made it reasonably easy to manage LCA applications for foreign national employees. However, with remote work, it is not so easy. Employers may find it necessary to use more individualized LCAs that consider the remote work location of each employee. With remote work, employers may also need to ensure that each employee is being paid wages that fulfill the prevailing wage requirement for their employment location. Employers should also keep track of their remote workers’ home addresses as they might need to file a new LCA and an H-1B amendment application if an employee’s address changes. With all the difficulty in remaining compliant when foreign national workers work remotely, it might be good to consult with an attorney to ensure your business stays compliant.
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