Article Published on: July 27, 2017
Article Written by FLG Attorney: Melissa Winkler
In addition to enhanced scrutiny over petitions, employers should expect to see additional penalties for abuse. In June 2017, Secretary of Labor Acosta announced actions to increase protections for American workers while more aggressively confronting entities committing visa program fraud and abuse. In this announcement, the Secretary directed the Wage and Hour Division to conduct additional civil investigations and enforce labor protections, directed the Employment and Training Administration (ETA) to propose changes to the LCA, and directed the ETA to coordinate the administration and enforcement of visa programs to refer criminal fraud to the Office of the Inspector General. Secretary Acosta also indicated, the department will also continue to work with the departments of Justice and Homeland Security to further investigate and detect visa program fraud and abuse. Currently, willful violations on an LCA could have civil monetary penalties as high as $51,588 and could face debarment. It is incredibly important that employers ensure the information on applications and petitions are accurate and they are following all government policies.