In a press release issued July 31, 2018, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) and Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced that they had formalized a partnership aimed to “protect U.S. workers from discrimination and combat visa abuse.” You can read the press release here. The partnership will allow for increased collaboration between the two Departments, including streamlining the process for sharing information regarding work visas. The press release touts a program launched by the DOJ Civil Rights Division called the “Protecting U.S. Workers Initiative” under which the DOJ launched dozens of investigations, filed a lawsuit, and reached settlement with some employers—including collecting $285,000.00 in back pay for affected U.S. Workers.
In a statement, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the DOL Employment and Training Administration, Rosemary Lahasky, said that streamlining the process for information sharing between the DOL and the DOJ will help protect U.S. workers from unlawful discrimination and will help ensure U.S. Workers are prioritized to fill jobs.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
The press release is limited in detail as to what types of abuse the DOJ and DOL are joining forces to fight. As H-2A employers know very well, the administrative hurdles already in place in the program are burdensome and costly. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. If you have any questions about work visas or DOL investigations, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.