Representative Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) has introduced two pieces of legislation to watch.

The Midnight Rules Relief Act, H.R. 21, would allow Congress to overturn any regulations en masse that were finalized or will be finalized during the lame duck session. This could include the long-awaited rule regarding Retention of EB-1, EB-2 and EB-3 Immigrant Workers and Program Improvements Affecting Highly-Skilled H-1B Nonimmigrant Workers, set to become effective on January 17. The rule would establish job portability and flexibility for certain nonimmigrants, including those with pending green card processes. H.R. 21 was passed by the House.

The Protect and Grow American Jobs Act, H.R. 170, would change eligibility requirements for exemption from the Labor Condition Applications (LCA) requirements for H-1B dependent employers. Employers with more than 50 full-time workers are H-1B dependent if at least 15 percent of their workforce is in H-1B status. H-1B dependence calculations for smaller employers are set forth at 20 CFR 655.736. When H-1B dependent employers file H-1B petitions, they must make additional LCA attestations regarding displacement of U.S. workers and good faith efforts to recruit and hire U.S. workers. But there are exemptions from those attestations if the employee will make at least $60,000 annually or if the employee possesses a Master’s degree in the relevant field. H.R. 170 would eliminate the Master’s degree exemption and raise the minimum annual salary for exemption to $100,000. Representative Issa’s website states that the bill “will help crack down on abuse and ensure these spots remain available for the best and brightest talent from around the world.”

We will continue to monitor the path of these bills.

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Photo of Forrest G. Read IV Forrest G. Read IV

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice…

Forrest Read is a Principal in the Raleigh, North Carolina, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. He has extensive experience in both business immigration law and employment law and has particular focus in legal issues in graduate medical education (GME).

Mr. Read’s immigration practice focuses on assisting employers in obtaining employment-based nonimmigrant visas (e.g., H-1B, L, O, TN) for foreign national employees and work-related immigrant (green card) visas, including PERM Labor Certifications, and advising employers on compliance with U.S. immigration laws and regulations. He has broad experience in advising large, mid-size and small employers on their various immigration needs and developing strategies to help them navigate through complex immigration issues. He also has particular experience in counseling employers in the health care industry and addressing immigration-related issues that arise for their broad range of health care professional employees (including advising on and obtaining employment authorization for medical residents and fellows and obtaining J-1 visa waivers for foreign national physicians completing their medical training in the United States). His immigration practice also includes defending employers in connection with Department of Labor H-1B and H-2B investigations.

Mr. Read’s employment law experience includes representing management, particularly academic medical centers in the GME context, in a wide array of workplace disputes and litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, including matters related to discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, family and medical leave, various wage and hour issues, contracts, and intentional torts. He advises academic medical centers on the interplay between applicable academic law and employment law and the ramifications of what are divergent legal requirements and standards. Mr. Read also provides counsel with respect to the legal impact of competency standards for residents and trainees in GME, including situations involving discipline, remediation, and dismissal. He provides advice and guidance in the peer review process, including provision of verification and assessment of training in response to third party inquiries.

As a member of the Firm’s Corporate Diversity Counseling group, Mr. Read also has experience in providing assessments and making recommendations to corporate and institutional clients with respect to diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives, conducting related internal investigations, and shaping, developing and enforcing effective policies and initiatives to ensure consistency with client values and in furtherance of business goals and objectives.