Public Access Files
What employers need to know
Employers hiring foreign workers in H-1B nonimmigrant visa status are required to maintain a Public Access File ("PAF") containing certain information regarding the employee's wages and the employer's compliance with the Labor Condition Application ("LCA"). Within one business day of filing the LCA, the employer must establish a PAF that may be viewed by any person. A PAF must be maintained by the employer for each employee currently in H-1B status.
The Department of Labor ("DOL") requires employers to maintain these files at their principal place of business or at the employee worksite for each H-1B petition an employer submits and should be accessible within one day of filing the LCA to both interested and/or aggrieved parties. The files should be kept separately from other employee files, and must be maintained throughout the term of an H-1B employer's employment, as well as one year after termination.
Some of the documents placed in this file include the LCA form, a wage rate statement, an actual wage memorandum, the prevailing wage determination, a benefits summary, and evidence that one copy of the LCA posting was given to employee (or union, if applicable). Additionally, if applicable, the PAF may also contain a statement regarding any change in corporate structure since filing the LCA, or it may contain relevant documentation for H-1B dependent employers.
Note that the DOL may, at any time, conduct on-site inspections to review employer's PAFs. Since large fines may be imposed for failure to comply, it is important for employers to conduct periodic internal audits to ensure that all requirements have been fully met. Please contact us at 847-763-8500 for a consultation.