One interesting impact COVID has had on H-1B compliance is forcing H-1B employers to repost LCA notices on behalf of remote H-1B workers who officially work from home and thus their home address is listed as an official work location on the LCA and who moved within the same Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA).
While this was not as common of an occurrence prior to COVID, during COVID, remote or hybrid H-1B workers moved to bigger homes in larger cities, e.g., as rents decreased, moved closer to loved ones across town, or otherwise relocated within the same MSA. This move typically would not necessitate filing an H-1B amendment (though always double check this with your immigration lawyer!), it did require the worker's LCA notice to be reposted in their new worksite, a.k.a. their new home.
H-1B employers and law firms complied with this differently and that's what this blog post is exploring.
COVID, relocation within the same MSA, and what that means
COVID forced most companies to send their employees home to work remotely. Some portion of those folks have stayed working at home, either full-time or part-time, while many have started to come back to the office a few days a week but still have at least some official "remote" work opportunities.
This led to a housing fiasco where people either purchased new homes due to low interest rates or moved to a cheaper (and sometimes bigger) apartments and houses as rents decreased, when their neighbors moved out.
Assuming the H-1B candidate moved within their current MSA, or otherwise often understood as within "normal commuting distance," filing a new LCA or H-1B petition may not be necessary, but reposting the original LCA notice likely is.
So how did, and do, H-1B employers comply with this LCA reposting?
The outdated way is to ask the employee to repost a paper LCA at their new home
This method usually includes sending a copy of the original LCA posting notice to the employee, asking them to print it, and instructing them to post it in their new home, whether on their fridge, the bathroom mirror, or somewhere else "affected workers" can see and the notice.
(Cue: eye roll.)
And if the company has a physical office where they post LCA notices for this worker, printing and reposting that LCA notice at that location might be necessary too. Of course then the public access file (PAF) has to be updated with this new posting, the corresponding posting dates, updated worksite locations and more.
It's easier to repost LCA notices when the LCA posting is done electronically
If you have an electronic LCA posting process, it should be much easier to repost the LCA notice used the prior time. If need be, indicate any new "worksite" (in this case likely the person's new address that is, again, within that "normal commuting distance"), and update the employee's corresponding PAF with this second posting, and all relevant information, to maintain compliance with the US Department of Labor's LCA notice regulations.
At LaborLess, in response to this phenomenon of H-1B employees moving within the same MSA during COVID, we quickly built and released an "LCA reposting" feature to make this process quite literally as easy as hitting a "Repost" button, adding a new worksite if needed, and voilà.
With this feature, the LCA notice is reposted, it comes down automatically after 10+ calendar days have elapsed (the user chooses how long their electronic LCA notices are posted for, and the accompanying PAF, which was already automatically created in LaborLess when the LCA notice was posted the first time, is updated, also automatically.
A simple solution to a simple wrinkle in what used to be "business-as-usual" with LCA compliance.
If you think LaborLess can help automate your law firm's LCA compliance process on behalf of your clients, or if you're an H-1B employer and you'd like to learn about how LaborLess can help your LCA compliance process in-house, check out our demo and please reach out to learn more!