U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Jun 14, 2024

§ 655.10 - Determination of prevailing wage for temporary labor certification purposes.

(a) Offered wage. The employer must advertise the position to all potential workers at a wage at least equal to the prevailing wage obtained from the NPWC, or the Federal, State or local minimum wage, whichever is highest. The employer must offer and pay this wage (or higher) to both its H-2B workers and its workers in corresponding employment. The issuance of a PWD under this section does not permit an employer to pay a wage lower than the highest wage required by any applicable Federal, State or local law.

(b) Determinations. Prevailing wages shall be determined as follows:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (i) of this section, if the job opportunity is covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that was negotiated at arms' length between the union and the employer, the wage rate set forth in the CBA is considered as not adversely affecting the wages of U.S. workers, that is, it is considered the “prevailing wage” for labor certification purposes.

(2) If the job opportunity is not covered by a CBA, the prevailing wage for labor certification purposes shall be the arithmetic mean of the wages of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment using the wage component of the BLS Occupational Employment Statistics Survey (OES), unless the employer provides a survey acceptable to OFLC under paragraph (f) of this section.

(c) Request for PWD. (1) An employer must request and receive a PWD from the NPWC before filing the job order with the SWA.

(2) The PWD must be valid on the date the job order is posted.

(d) Multiple worksites. If the job opportunity involves multiple worksites within an area of intended employment and different prevailing wage rates exist for the opportunity within the area of intended employment, the prevailing wage is the highest applicable wage among all the worksites.

(e) NPWC action. The NPWC will provide the PWD, indicate the source, and return the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination (ETA Form 9141) with its endorsement to the employer.

(f) Employer-provided survey. (1) If the job opportunity is not covered by a CBA, or by a professional sports league's rules or regulations, the NPWC will consider a survey provided by the employer in making a Prevailing Wage Determination only if the employer submission demonstrates that the survey falls into one of the following categories:

(i) The survey was independently conducted and issued by a state, including any state agency, state college, or state university;

(ii) The survey is submitted for a geographic area where the OES does not collect data, or in a geographic area where the OES provides an arithmetic mean only at a national level for workers employed in the SOC;

(iii)(A) The job opportunity is not included within an occupational classification of the SOC system; or

(B) The job opportunity is within an occupational classification of the SOC system designated as an “all other” classification.

(2) The survey must provide the arithmetic mean of the wages of all workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment, except that if the survey provides a median but does not provide an arithmetic mean, the prevailing wage applicable to the employer's job opportunity shall be the median of the wages of workers similarly employed in the area of intended employment.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (f)(2) of this section, the geographic area surveyed may be expanded beyond the area of intended employment, but only as necessary to meet the requirements of paragraph (f)(4)(ii) of this section. Any geographic expansion beyond the area of intended employment must include only those geographic areas that are contiguous to the area of intended employment.

(4) In each case where the employer submits a survey under paragraph (f)(1) of this section, the employer must submit, concurrently with the ETA Form 9141, a completed Form ETA-9165 containing specific information about the survey methodology, including such items as sample size and source, sample selection procedures, and survey job descriptions, to allow a determination of the adequacy of the data provided and validity of the statistical methodology used in conducting the survey. In addition, the information provided by the employer must include the attestation that:

(i) The surveyor either made a reasonable, good faith attempt to contact all employers employing workers in the occupation and geographic area surveyed or conducted a randomized sampling of such employers;

(ii) The survey includes wage data from at least 30 workers and three employers;

(iii) If the survey is submitted under paragraph (f)(1)(ii) or (iii) of this section, the collection was administered by a bona fide third party. The following are not bona fide third parties under this rule: Any H-2B employer or any H-2B employer's agent, representative, or attorney;

(iv) The survey was conducted across industries that employ workers in the occupation; and

(v) The wage reported in the survey includes all types of pay, consistent with Form ETA-9165.

(5) The survey must be based upon recently collected data: The survey must be the most current edition of the survey and must be based on wages paid not more than 24 months before the date the survey is submitted for consideration.

(g) Review of employer-provided surveys. (1) If the NPWC finds an employer-provided survey not to be acceptable, the NPWC shall inform the employer in writing of the reasons the survey was not accepted.

(2) The employer, after receiving notification that the survey it provided for consideration is not acceptable, may request review under § 655.13.

(h) Validity period. The NPWC must specify the validity period of the prevailing wage, which in no event may be more than 365 days and no less than 90 days from the date that the determination is issued.

(i) Professional athletes. In computing the prevailing wage for a professional athlete when the job opportunity is covered by professional sports league rules or regulations, the wage set forth in those rules or regulations is considered the prevailing wage.

(j) Retention of documentation. The employer must retain the PWD for 3 years from the date of issuance or the date of a final determination on the Application for Temporary Employment Certification, whichever is later, and submit it to a CO if requested by a Notice of Deficiency, described in § 655.31, or audit, as described in § 655.70, or to a WHD representative during a WHD investigation.

(k) Guam. The requirements of this section apply to any request filed for an H-2B job opportunity on Guam, subject to the transfer of authority to set the prevailing wage for a job opportunity on Guam to DOL in Title 8 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

[80 FR 24108, Apr. 29, 2015, as amended at 80 FR 24184, Apr. 29, 2015]