New Wage Data and Its Impact on PERM
Each year new wage data is provided to account for wage fluctuations in the market. The wages are updated each year on July 1st.
In order to file a PERM application, the employer must obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD). In addition, the employer must test the U.S. labor market through various recruitment methods for able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers.
PWDs are currently taking around 5 to 5.5 months to be issued. This means that PWD applications submitted February 2022 onwards are likely to be issued on or after July 1st.
Recall that an employer has 2 options when deciding when to begin the recruitment process. The employer can begin advertising (1) while the PWD application is pending or (2) after the PWD is issued. If a PWD application is submitted February 2022 and advertising begins while it is still pending, the employer will need to be sure to account for the upcoming change in the wage data.
For example, all PERM applications require a Notice of Filing to be posted at the job site for 10 consecutive business days. The Notice of Filing must contain the prevailing wage or offered wage, whichever is higher. The offered wage cannot be lower than the prevailing wage.
If the PWD is higher than the wage listed on the Notice of Filing, then the employer will have to re-post the Notice of Filing with the higher wage. If the PWD is lower than the wage listed on the Notice of Filing, then the employer will have to pay the higher wage originally listed on the Notice of Filing if they do not want to re-post the Notice of Filing.
Because the PERM process can be tricky to navigate, it is always best to contact a qualified immigration attorney to help come up with the proper solution for each individual case.
By: Camille Joson
Camille Joson is a Senior Associate Attorney in the firm’s PERM Labor Certification Department, where she assists clients in the beginning stages of the green card process.