The Higher Ed Workplace Blog

Three Benefits of Using CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand for H-1B Prevailing Wage Determination for New and Furloughed Employees

Editor’s note: You may have missed this article when we published it in June 2018. In this update, we emphasize the importance of H-1B visa compliance during the pandemic, especially if visa holders are furloughed along with other employees.

As higher education institutions consider changes in their workforce in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, they may be tasked with furloughing faculty, professionals, or postdocs who are foreign nationals. The Department of Labor (DOL) requires that all H-1B employees be paid the required prevailing wage during nonproductive times. Not only can you speed up your H-1B application process by using CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand tool when hiring foreign nationals, but you can also obtain a prevailing wage determination for H-1B employees who are being furloughed during nonproductive times.

What Is a Prevailing Wage?

The Immigration and Nationality Act mandates that the hiring of a foreign worker should not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers comparably employed. To comply with the statute, DOL requires that the wages offered to a foreign worker must be equal to or higher than the prevailing wage rate, which is the average wage paid to similarly employed workers in the occupation in the geographic area of intended employment.

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 U.S. Department of Labor’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, and
  3. get a prevailing wage determination that is more realistically aligned with the salaries offered by your institution.

Filing an H-1B visa requires careful planning and preparation — and a lot of waiting! By using CUPA-HR’s DataOnDemand, you can speed up the prevailing wage determination process and get more accurate information based on your geographical region.

See the how-to guide for identifying the prevailing wage for H1-B employees in DataOnDemand, view other DataOnDemand tutorials, and learn more about CUPA-HR research. You may be required to provide documentation for how CUPA-HR’s surveys meet DOL guidelines. Please refer to CUPA-HR’s Comparison of DOL EOS Wage Guidelines and CUPAHR Survey Procedures document within DataOnDemand. 


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