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How New Wage Laws in NYC and California Affect Immigration

young man wearing a hard hat standing in the aisle of a warehouse smiling and holding a cardboard box

As of January 2023, the state of California and New York City have implemented new wage transparency laws that require companies to post salaries for open positions. These laws are a form of pay equity legislation that seeks to ensure all workers receive equal pay for similar work regardless of race, gender, or other factors. The new laws will likely affect immigrants seeking jobs in the United States and employment-based immigration certifications.

Benefits of These Laws

The new salary transparency laws in New York City and California will require employers to provide wage ranges on job postings. This may benefit immigrants as it could help them target roles that offer salaries commensurate with their experience level and qualifications. It also gives them more information before they apply, so they can make sure the jobs are worth their time and effort.

Downsides to These Laws

However, these new laws may also have an adverse effect on foreign workers seeking employment visas in the United States. Although the Department of Labor (DOL) has set regulations and steps for employers to follow, these new laws may entice employers to take additional steps when sponsoring a foreign hire.

As a general DOL rule, companies must prove that there were no qualified U.S. workers available for the job and that this prompted them to look outside of the country to sponsor and hire a qualified candidate. In a recent lawsuit, the DOL alleged that Facebook purposefully made it more difficult for U.S. candidates to apply for jobs, resulting in a settlement of a $4.75 million civil penalty and $9.5 million to “victims of Facebook's alleged discrimination.” This sent a significant signal to companies looking to hire foreign workers and indicates the DOL and other agencies applying strict scrutiny under these new laws.

Applying for a Work Visa? We Can Help.

If you are an immigrant looking to take advantage of the new salary transparency laws by applying for a work visa, our experienced immigration lawyers can help. Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. understands the complexities of navigating employment-based visas and can provide guidance on how to proceed with your application. Don’t hesitate to contact us today by calling (800) 708-4399 for more information or to schedule a consultation.


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