Employers relying on foreign work visas to staff their workplace should expect to face additional scrutiny, a senior Department of Labor (DOL) official told Bloomberg Law.
The DOL is looking to crack down on employers that break the law, focusing on those that may have committed fraud in applying for various work visa programs, according to an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Visa programs under review will include those for seasonal workers in agriculture and other sectors, as well as specialized, high-skilled workers.
Any “entity that breaks the law” will be subject to a streamlined process for suspension or debarment from receiving work visas, a DOL spokeswoman told Bloomberg Law.
Under a speedier and more stringent process of auditing visa applications, potentially more employers could be facing punishment for misconduct like misrepresenting what type of work employees will be doing in an application and improperly paying workers. Recently, the DOL’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs concluded that Cisco Systems Inc. discriminated against U.S. workers by favoring immigrant visa holders for job openings. The company used H-1B visas to hire more than a thousand foreign workers.
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