The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Benefits of Using CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand for H-1B Prevailing Wage Determination in the Wake of the DOL’s New Ruling

On October 8, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an interim final rule effective immediately, which raises the DOL prevailing wage levels under the four-tiered wage structure. The ruling will increase the DOL prevailing wage as follows:

  • Level I from the 17th percentile to the 45th percentile
  • Level II from the 34th percentile to the 62nd percentile
  • Level III from the 50th percentile to the 78th percentile
  • Level IV from the 67th percentile to the 95th percentile

The increase in prevailing wage level may result in DOL salaries that are higher than typically found in higher education.

CUPA-HR DataOnDemand and Prevailing Wage Reports

As higher education institutions consider changes to their workforce in response to the ruling, they may be tasked with reexamining salaries of foreign nationals. CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand tool can help speed up the H-1B application process when hiring foreign nationals and also help institutions obtain a prevailing wage determination for current H-1B employees.

CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand tool also allows you to run prevailing wage reports using any position in our administrators, professionals or faculty surveys. We have recently added a two-digit CIP option to our Faculty Prevailing Wage Report in addition to the four-digit CIP. The two-digit CIP provides a more general faculty discipline than the more specific four-digit CIP. Therefore, users who were having difficulty obtaining enough data for a specific region with the four-digit CIP can get more data by using a less specific discipline. For example, if you want to determine the prevailing wage for an associate professor of chemical engineering (CIP 14.07) in Utah and could not find enough data, you would have the option of either expanding your region (to neighboring states, e.g.) or generalizing the discipline to engineering (CIP 14). With the Faculty Prevailing Wage Report, you can identify the prevailing wage for professors, associate professors, assistant professors, instructors/scientists and postdocs (either tenure-track or non-tenure track, research or teaching).

How Do You Obtain a Prevailing Wage Determination?

You can obtain a prevailing wage determination in two ways: (1) by submitting a request to the DOL’s National Prevailing Wage Center (the current processing time for which is more than two months), or (2) if the position is not covered by a collective bargaining agreement, by using an alternate source that meets DOL’s criteria for determining a prevailing wage.

Benefits of Using CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand Over DOL

CUPA-HR’s salary surveys are one of the commonly used prevailing wage sources accepted by DOL, and the Prevailing Wage Report in DataOnDemand has successfully supported hundreds of H-1B applications.

By obtaining a prevailing wage determination in DataOnDemand, you can:

  1. get a better position match compared to DOL
  2. obtain the prevailing wage determination in less time
  3. get a prevailing wage determination that is more realistically aligned with the salaries offered by your institution

Because the new rule significantly increases the prevailing wages, many higher ed institutions are working to determine the prevailing wage for various positions. By using CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand, you can determine the prevailing wage for any position based on your geographical region and be confident that all DOL OES wage guidelines are followed.