Blog by Pasricha & Patel, LLC

New Executive Order Directs Federal Agencies to Review Hiring of Foreign Workers by Federal Contractors, and also Directs DHS and DOL to Heighten Review of H-1B Workers Program

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Pasricha & Patel

On August 3, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing various federal agencies and departments to review their federal contractors and subcontractors’ hiring practices of foreign workers who work on federal contracts, with the goal of making sure that they do not negatively impact the U.S. workforce in general.

This Executive Order’s stated aim is to help stimulate job growth in the U.S. domestic workforce market, especially light of the economic downturn experienced due to the COVID 19 pandemic.

Specifically, the heads of the various departments and agencies who rely on the use of foreign workers in federal contracts must review the performance of contracts and subcontracts awarded by the respective agency for the fiscal year of 2018 and 2019 to assess the following points:

  1. Whether contractors or subcontractors used temporary foreign labor for contracts performed in the United States, the nature of the work done by the foreign worker under these contracts and if opportunities for United States workers were affected by the hiring of foreign workers and to determine any effect on the national security caused by the hiring of such individuals;
  2. Contractors or subcontractors performed in foreign countries that were previously performed in the United States have affected United States workers by offshoring these positions;
  3. To determine if affected United States workers were eligible for assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program authorized by the trade Act of 1974; and to determine any effects on the national security caused by offshoring these jobs;
  4. The head of each agency must assess any negative impact of contractors and subcontractors’ temporary foreign labor hiring practices or offshoring practices and determine their effect on the economy and the efficiency of Federal procurement and on national security. Each agency must provide solutions within applicable law to fix any negative impacts.

The various agency and department heads will have 120 days to report their findings to the Office of Management and Budget, and provide suggested fixes to those issues, as well as provide timetables for implementing such changes.

More importantly, both the Department of Labor (DOL), as well as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will have forty -five (45) days to make sure that the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers are not adversely affected by the hiring of H-1B workers at various work sites.

While not explicitly saying so, one can guess that there could be increased scrutiny for H-1B cases, or even increase in investigations by either of these departments in the coming weeks and months.

Due to the ever changing immigration landscape, we will continue to stay focused and monitor the situation and should there be any further developments in this area, we will be sure to let our readers know. We do suggest readers to continue to visit our site to keep up to date with any further developments. And we encourage you to contact our office for more formal consultation should you have any specific questions.