US Workforce Act regs at last

May 18, 2020

On Thursday, the Department of Homeland Security published the Interim Final Rule to implement provisions of the Northern Mariana Islands U.S. Workforce Act. President Trump signed Public Law 115-218 on July 24, 2018, which required regulations within 180 days, a deadline that was not met. To continue employing Commonwealth-only Transitional Workers, CWs, businesses must comply with the new Rule beginning June 18. This will include enrolling in the E-Verify program, semiannual reporting on meeting terms and conditions of employment, and abiding by temporary departure requirements. Employers will also now be able to petition long-term workers for the new 3-year permits, which are not subject to temporary departure. Modifications to the CW education fee, the legitimate business definition, and the timing for filing renewals, as well new revocation procedures, are also explained in the Rule. Other provisions in the Act—the ten-year cap schedule, extensions of the bar on claims of asylum and unlimited H visas, and the mandatory fraud prevention and detection fee—took effect on enactment. The U.S. Department of Labor implemented the temporary labor certification requirement of the U.S. Workforce Act with publication of its interim final rule in 2019. The deadline for public comment on the new Interim Final Rule is Monday, July 13, 2020.