• Sanders-Grassley Amendment to Stimulus Bill Restricts New H-1B Petitions
  • March 19, 2009 | Authors: Pierre Georges Bonnefil; Héctor A. Chichoni; Robert S. Groban; Jang Hyuk Im; William M. Poole
  • Law Firms: Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - New York Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - Miami Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - New York Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - San Francisco Office ; Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. - Atlanta Office
  • Buried in the new economic stimulus legislation signed by President Obama is a provision entitled the "Employ American Workers Act." This provision, authored by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Charles Grassley (R-IA), applies more onerous procedures to employers seeking to file new H-1B petitions if they have received funds from the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP).

    The original text of the Sanders-Grassley amendment barred all recipients of TARP funding from hiring any H-1B workers. However, the amendment was modified so that employers who receive TARP funding can petition for new H-1B workers if they follow the rules prescribed for "H-1B Dependent Employers." These rules require employers who have significant numbers of H-1B employees (as measured in proportion to the total workforce) to: (1) attest that they have made good-faith attempts to hire U.S. workers at prevailing wages (or industry-standard wages); (2) attest that their hiring of H-1B employees does not displace U.S. workers who have sought those same jobs; and (3) maintain records showing that they have complied with wage and other work condition standards. The bottom line is that the Sanders-Grassley amendment will make it much more difficult for employers who receive TARP funds to file new H-1B petitions because it will be hard for them to survive the enhanced recruiting requirements in this economy.