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United States Department of Labor's 2013 OIG report could lead to lax oversight of guest-worker certification programs

In a blow to American workers, particularly STEM workers, the DOL’s annual Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report released this week claims that foreign labor certification programs, “no longer pose the greatest threat to the Department in meeting its mission to workers…”

While guest-worker programs in the United States have many flaws, including the certification process, employers are nonetheless required to certify some criteria before sponsoring a guest-worker, including making good faith efforts to hire an American worker and that they will meet certain wage requirements. As a union whose members are negatively impacted by the abusive H-1B high-tech guest-worker program, IFPTE believes that the OIG suggestion that ample auditing and oversight of employer certification compliance should no longer be a priority of the department is not only misguided, but also sends a signal to employers that it is open season to bypass hiring qualified American workers in favor of foreign workers who will work for lower wages. Despite the OIG suggestion, which can be found on page 11 of the 2013 report, IFPTE is hopeful that Secretary Perez will stand up for American workers by denouncing this recommendation while allocating proper resources to the auditing and oversight of employer certification practices.

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