Proffered Wage Must Exceed State’s Minimum Wage, Not Just the Prevailing Wage (Federal)

As DOL continues to experience delays in issuing PWD and adjudicating PERM applications, employers must be careful when setting the proposed wage during the PERM process. It must exceed not just the prevailing wage as set by DOL but also exceed the state’s (where worksite is located) minimum wage. You do not want to wait 1.5 to 2 years for the PERM to be certified only to find that the I-140 was later denied due to not meeting the state’s minimum wage.

We’ve been following this issue since states began to increase their minimum wages a few years ago. Now, we have received an RFE showing the template language used to attack the I-140 when the proffered wage is below the state’s minimum.

Note that this RFE will not impact us as it was issued in gross error on the part of the reviewing officer. The worksite here is not in Maryland but in Virginia. The officer may have gotten a bit too excited about attacking the case with this newfound ammunition. We now get to see exactly what they are thinking on this issue and how they are attacking.

Bottom line: check the state’s minimum wage. DOL has a site dedicated to states’ wages: Make sure the proffered wage is higher than the state’s minimum. Use the correct wage during PERM recruitment and in the actual PERM application.