September 25, 2020

Volume X, Number 269

September 25, 2020

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New Executive Order Calls for Review of Federal Contracts and Directs Agencies to Take Action to Protect U.S. Workers

On August 3, 2020, the Trump Administration issued an executive order  (EO) directing the secretaries of the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security to “take action … to protect United States workers from any adverse effects on wages and working conditions caused by the employment of H-1B [workers].” The Executive Order on Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers also requires the heads of federal agencies to evaluate the contracts (including subcontracts) awarded by their agencies during fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to assess whether  contractors or subcontractors used temporary foreign labor in fulfilling those contracts, and if so, what effect it had on U.S. workers and the economy.

The EO requires the secretaries of labor and homeland security to take action within 45 days of the date the order was issued. The EO authorizes the secretaries to implement measures to ensure that all H-1B employers adhere to the Labor Condition Application (LCA) requirements specified in the Immigration and Nationality Act. By signing the LCA, employers certify that they will pay H-1B employees at least the prevailing wage for the given position in the given area; working conditions will not adversely affect U.S. workers; and hiring H-1B visa holders will not displace U.S. workers.

Analysis and Impact

The Trump administration appears to be seeking to create a policy where federal agencies will focus on U.S. labor in lucrative federal contracts, including subcontracts. Additionally, the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security have been tasked with finalizing guidance that would prioritize high-wage workers and “prevent H-1B employers from moving H-1B workers to other employers’ job sites to displace [U.S.] workers.” It is important to note that the EO does not have an immediate impact on H-1B employees. However, due to the 45-day deadline imposed by the EO, it is likely that new measures focused on H-1B visas will be introduced in the coming weeks.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 224


About this Author

Andrea C. Davis Employment Immigration Lawyer Ogletree

Andrea is an associate attorney in the Atlanta office of Ogletree Deakins. She focuses her practice on employment-based immigration.

Andrea completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley and received her Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina School of Law. During her law school career, Andrea gained experience working in the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic, preparing non-immigrant U-visa petitions for victims of violent crimes, and interning in the Health and Public Assistance Section of the North Carolina Department of Justice. She...

Melissa Manna, Ogletree Deakins Law Firm, Raleigh, Immigration Practice Group Writer
Immigration Practice Group Writer

Melissa Manna is an Immigration Practice Group Writer. Her primary focus is writing and editing legal articles relating to immigration for the firm’s online and print publications, websites, and newsletters.

Prior to joining Ogletree Deakins, Melissa spent 9 years as in-house counsel at TowerCo, one of the largest independent wireless tower companies in the U.S., representing the company in all aspects of commercial real estate. During that time she managed due diligence, advised and implemented risk management solutions, and closed transactions valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Before TowerCo, she was an attorney with Alan Gordon Immigration and Naturalization Law in Charlotte, NC, representing large and small companies, investors, entrepreneurs, and families in all stages of the immigration process. She regularly appeared before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to advocate on behalf of clients, as well as the EOIR Immigration Court in Atlanta to defend clients against removal and deportation.

Melissa received her J.D. from Pennsylvania State University, Dickinson School of Law and her B.A. in Journalism from The College of New Jersey. She is licensed by the North Carolina Bar.

Christian O. Herrmann Business Immigration Law Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart Greenville, SC
Of Counsel

*Currently licensed in California only. Practice limited to federal immigration law.

Christian specializes in business immigration law.  He helps corporate clients manage their immigration sponsorship programs to secure short- and long-term work authorization for their professional personnel.  Christian partners with companies to help them to establish best practice and policy.  He has represented a diverse range of corporate clients, including Fortune 500 companies, from a number of industries.  Christian’s scope of expertise includes temporary work visas and permanent residency...