20 CFR 655.715 - Definitions.

§ 655.715 Definitions.

For the purposes of subparts H and I of this part:

Actual wage means the wage rate paid by the employer to all individuals with experience and qualifications similar to the H-1B nonimmigant's experience and qualifications for the specific employment in question at the place of employment. The actual wage established by the employer is not an average of the wage rates paid to all workers employed in the occupation.

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) means an official appointed pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 3105.

Administrator means the Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division, Employment Standards Administration, Department of Labor, and such authorized representatives as may be designated to perform any of the functions of the Administrator under subpart H or I of this part.

Aggrieved party means a person or entity whose operations or interests are adversely affected by the employer's alleged non-compliance with the labor condition application and includes, but is not limited to:

(1) A worker whose job, wages, or working conditions are adversely affected by the employer's alleged non-compliance with the labor condition application;

(2) A bargaining representative for workers whose jobs, wages, or working conditions are adversely affected by the employer's alleged non-compliance with the labor condition application;

(3) A competitor adversely affected by the employer's alleged non-compliance with the labor condition application; and

(4) A government agency which has a program that is impacted by the employer's alleged non-compliance with the labor condition application.

Area of intended employment means the area within normal commuting distance of the place (address) of employment where the H-1B nonimmigrant is or will be employed. There is no rigid measure of distance which constitutes a normal commuting distance or normal commuting area, because there may be widely varying factual circumstances among different areas (e.g., normal commuting distances might be 20, 30, or 50 miles). If the place of employment is within a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or a Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), any place within the MSA or PMSA is deemed to be within normal commuting distance of the place of employment; however, all locations within a Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Area (CMSA) will not automatically be deemed to be within normal commuting distance. The borders of MSAs and PMSAs are not controlling with regard to the identification of the normal commuting area; a location outside of an MSA or PMSA (or a CMSA) may be within normal commuting distance of a location that is inside (e.g., near the border of) the MSA or PMSA (or CMSA).

Attorney General means the chief official of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Attorney General's designee.

Authorized agent and authorized representative mean an official of the employer who has the legal authority to commit the employer to the statements in the labor condition application.

Center Director means the Department official to whom the Administrator has delegated his authority for purposes of NPC operations and functions.

Certification means the determination by a certifying officer that a labor condition application is not incomplete and does not contain obvious inaccuracies.

Certify means the act of making a certification.

Certifying Officer means a Department of Labor official, or such official's designee, who makes determinations about whether or not to certify labor condition applications.

Chief Administrative Law Judge (Chief ALJ) means the chief official of the Office of the Administrative Law Judges of the Department of Labor or the Chief Administrative Law Judge's designee.

Department and DOL mean the United States Department of Labor.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) makes the determination under the INA on whether to grant visa petitions of employers seeking the admission of non-immigrants under H-1B visa for the purpose of employment.

Division means the Wage and Hour Division of the Employment Standards Administration, DOL.

Employed, employed by the employer, or employment relationship means the employment relationship as determined under the common law, under which the key determinant is the putative employer's right to control the means and manner in which the work is performed. Under the common law, “no shorthand formula or magic phrase * * * can be applied to find the answer * * *. [A]ll of the incidents of the relationship must be assessed and weighed with no one factor being decisive.” NLRB v. United Ins. Co. of America, 390 U.S. 254, 258 (1968).

Employer means a person, firm, corporation, contractor, or other association or organization in the United States that has an employment relationship with H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 nonimmigrants and/or U.S. worker(s). In the case of an H-1B nonimmigrant (not including E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrants), the person, firm, contractor, or other association or organization in the United States that files a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on behalf of the nonimmigrant is deemed to be the employer of that nonimmigrant. In the case of an E-3 and H-1B1 nonimmigrant, the person, firm, contractor, or other association or organization in the United States that files an LCA with the Department of Labor on behalf of the nonimmigrant is deemed to be the employer of that nonimmigrant.

Employment and Training Administration (ETA) means the agency within the Department which includes the Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC).

Employment Standards Administration (ESA) means the agency within the Department which includes the Wage and Hour Division.

INA means the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended, 8 U.S.C. 1101et seq.

Independent authoritative source means a professional, business, trade, educational or governmental association, organization, or other similar entity, not owned or controlled by the employer, which has recognized expertise in an occupational field.

Independent authoritative source survey means a survey of wages conducted by an independent authoritative source and published in a book, newspaper, periodical, loose-leaf service, newsletter, or other similar medium, within the 24-month period immediately preceding the filing of the employer's application. Such survey shall:

(1) Reflect the average wage paid to workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment;

(2) Be based upon recently collected data - e.g., within the 24-month period immediately preceding the date of publication of the survey; and

(3) Represent the latest published prevailing wage finding by the authoritative source for the occupation in the area of intended employment.

Interested party means a person or entity who or which may be affected by the actions of an H-1B employer or by the outcome of a particular investigation and includes any person, organization, or entity who or which has notified the Department of his/her/its interest or concern in the Administrator's determination.

Lockout means a labor dispute involving a work stoppage, wherein an employer withholds work from its employees in order to gain a concession from them.

Occupation means the occupational or job classification in which the H-1B nonimmigrant is to be employed.

Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) means the organizational component within the ETA that provides national leadership and policy guidance and develops regulations and procedures to carry out the responsibilities of the Secretary of Labor under the INA concerning alien workers seeking admission to the United States in order to work under the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended.

Period of intended employment means the time period between the starting and ending dates inclusive of the H-1B nonimmigrant's intended period of employment in the occupational classification at the place of employment as set forth in the labor condition application.

Place of employment means the worksite or physical location where the work actually is performed by the H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 nonimmigrant.

(1) The term does not include any location where either of the following criteria - paragraph (1)(i) or (ii) - is satisfied:

(i)Employee developmental activity. An H-1B worker who is stationed and regularly works at one location may temporarily be at another location for a particular individual or employer-required developmental activity such as a management conference, a staff seminar, or a formal training course (other than “on-the-job-training” at a location where the employee is stationed and regularly works). For the H-1B worker participating in such activities, the location of the activity would not be considered a “place of employment” or “worksite,” and that worker's presence at such location - whether owned or controlled by the employer or by a third party - would not invoke H-1B program requirements with regard to that employee at that location. However, if the employer uses H-1B nonimmigrants as instructors or resource or support staff who continuously or regularly perform their duties at such locations, the locations would be “places of employment” or “worksites” for any such employees and, thus, would be subject to H-1B program requirements with regard to those employees.

(ii)Particular worker's job functions. The nature and duration of an H-1B nonimmigrant's job functions may necessitate frequent changes of location with little time spent at any one location. For such a worker, a location would not be considered a “place of employment” or “worksite” if the following three requirements (i.e., paragraphs (1)(ii)(A) through (C)) are all met -

(A) The nature and duration of the H-1B worker's job functions mandates his/her short-time presence at the location. For this purpose, either:

(1) The H-1B nonimmigrant's job must be peripatetic in nature, in that the normal duties of the worker's occupation (rather than the nature of the employer's business) requires frequent travel (local or non-local) from location to location; or

(2) The H-1B worker's duties must require that he/she spend most work time at one location but occasionally travel for short periods to work at other locations; and

(B) The H-1B worker's presence at the locations to which he/she travels from the “home” worksite is on a casual, short-term basis, which can be recurring but not excessive (i.e., not exceeding five consecutive workdays for any one visit by a peripatetic worker, or 10 consecutive workdays for any one visit by a worker who spends most work time at one location and travels occasionally to other locations); and

(C) The H-1B nonimmigrant is not at the location as a “strikebreaker” (i.e., the H-1B nonimmigrant is not performing work in an occupation in which workers are on strike or lockout).

(2) Examples of “non-worksite” locations based on worker's job functions: A computer engineer sent out to customer locations to “troubleshoot” complaints regarding software malfunctions; a sales representative making calls on prospective customers or established customers within a “home office” sales territory; a manager monitoring the performance of out-stationed employees; an auditor providing advice or conducting reviews at customer facilities; a physical therapist providing services to patients in their homes within an area of employment; an individual making a court appearance; an individual lunching with a customer representative at a restaurant; or an individual conducting research at a library.

(3) Examples of “worksite” locations based on worker's job functions: A computer engineer who works on projects or accounts at different locations for weeks or months at a time; a sales representative assigned on a continuing basis in an area away from his/her “home office;” an auditor who works for extended periods at the customer's offices; a physical therapist who “fills in” for full-time employees of health care facilities for extended periods; or a physical therapist who works for a contractor whose business is to provide staffing on an “as needed” basis at hospitals, nursing homes, or clinics.

(4) Whenever an H-1B worker performs work at a location which is not a “worksite” (under the criterion in paragraph (1)(i) or (1)(ii) of this definition), that worker's “place of employment” or “worksite” for purposes of H-1B obligations is the worker's home station or regular work location. The employer's obligations regarding notice, prevailing wage and working conditions are focused on the home station “place of employment” rather than on the above-described location(s) which do not constitute worksite(s) for these purposes. However, whether or not a location is considered to be a “worksite”/”place of employment” for an H-1B nonimmigrant, the employer is required to provide reimbursement to the H-1B nonimmigrant for expenses incurred in traveling to that location on the employer's business, since such expenses are considered to be ordinary business expenses of employers ( §§ 655.731(c)(7)(iii)(C); 655.731(c)(9)). In determining the worker's “place of employment” or “worksite,” the Department will look carefully at situations which appear to be contrived or abusive; the Department would seriously question any situation where the H-1B nonimmigrant's purported “place of employment” is a location other than where the worker spends most of his/her work time, or where the purported “area of employment” does not include the location(s) where the worker spends most of his/her work time.

Required wage rate means the rate of pay which is the higher of:

(1) The actual wage for the specific employment in question; or

(2) The prevailing wage rate (determined as of the time of filing the LCA application) for the occupation in which the H-1B, H-1B1, or E-3 nonimmigrant is to be employed in the geographic area of intended employment. The prevailing wage rate must be no less than the minimum wage required by Federal, State, or local law.

Secretary means the Secretary of Labor or the Secretary's designee.

Specialty occupation:

(1) For purposes of the E-3 and H-1B programs (but not the H-1B1 program), specialty occupation means an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. The nonimmigrant in a specialty occupation shall possess the following qualifications:

(i) Full state licensure to practice in the occupation, if licensure is required for the occupation;

(ii) Completion of the required degree; or

(iii) Experience in the specialty equivalent to the completion of such degree and recognition of expertise in the specialty through progressively responsible positions relating to the specialty. INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(i)(1) and (2).

(2) For purposes of the H-1B1 program, specialty occupation means an occupation that requires theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge, and attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree (or its equivalent) in the specific specialty as a minimum for entry into the occupation in the United States. INA, 8 U.S.C. 1184(i)(3). For H-1B1 nonimmigrants from Chile, additional occupations that qualify as specialty occupations are Disaster Relief Claims Adjuster, Management Consultant, Agricultural Manager, and Physical Therapist, as defined in Appendix 14.3(D)(2) of the United States-Chile Free Trade Agreement. For H-1B1 nonimmigrants from Singapore, additional occupations that qualify as specialty occupations are Disaster Relief Claims Adjuster and Management Consultant, as defined in Appendix 11A.2 of the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement.

(3) Determinations of specialty occupation and of nonimmigrant qualifications for the H-1B and H-1B1 programs are not made by the Department of Labor, but by the Department of State and/or United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security in accordance with the procedures of those agencies for processing visas, petitions, extensions of stay, or requests for change of nonimmigrant status for H-1B or H-1B1 nonimmigrants.

Specific employment in question means the set of duties and responsibilities performed or to be performed by the H-1B nonimmigrant at the place of employment.

State means one of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

State Workforce Agency, formerly State Employment Security Agency or SESA means the State agency which, under the State Administrator, is designated by the Governor to administer Wagner-Peyser Act funded employment and workforce information services (State agency) and the State unemployment compensation program.

Strike means a labor dispute wherein employees engage in a concerted stoppage of work (including stoppage by reason of the expiration of a collective-bargaining agreement) or engage in any concerted slowdown or other concerted interruption of operation.

United States worker (“U.S. worker”) means an employee who is either

(1) A citizen or national of the United States, or

(2) An alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States, is admitted as a refugee under section 207 of the INA, is granted asylum under section 208 of the INA, or is an immigrant otherwise authorized (by the INA or by DHS) to be employed in the United States.

Wage rate means the remuneration (exclusive of fringe benefits) to be paid, stated in terms of amount per hour, day, month or year (see definition of “Required Wage Rate”).

[ 59 FR 65659, 65676, Dec. 20, 1994, as amended at 65 FR 80211, Dec. 20, 2000; 69 FR 68228, Nov. 23, 2004; 70 FR 72561, Dec. 5, 2005; 71 FR 35520, June 21, 2006; 73 FR 19948, Apr. 11, 2008; 73 FR 78067, Dec. 19, 2008]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
Statutes at Large

Title 20 published on 02-Jun-2018 03:57

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 20 CFR Part 655 after this date.

  • 2018-05-31; vol. 83 # 105 - Thursday, May 31, 2018
    1. 83 FR 24905 - Exercise of Time-Limited Authority To Increase the Fiscal Year 2018 Numerical Limitation for the H-2B Temporary Nonagricultural Worker Program
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY, Employment and Training Administration
      Temporary rule.
      This final rule is effective from May 31, 2018 through September 30, 2018, except for 20 CFR 655.66, which is effective from May 31, 2018 through September 30, 2021.
      8 CFR Part 214