Can An Employer Furlough an H-1B Employee?

As the coronavirus pandemic is forcing many employers to furlough or lay off their workers, questions arise about the consequences of such measures on foreign workers currently in H-1B status.  The Department of Labor regulations require employers to abide by the certified labor conditions, including payment of the required wage and full-time vs. part time employment.  The employers cannot furlough or stop paying the required wage without exposing itself to fines, back wages and debarment from immigration programs. 

If the employer wants to convert a full-time H-1B employee to a part-time status, it must file a new labor certification application and amended H-1B petition to reflect such change.  The employee can start working when the amended H-1B petition is filed.

We continue to monitor the Department of Labor’s guidance.

Please note that this article does not constitute a legal advice.  We simplified the law in order to outline the H-1B regulations.  If you are considering any changes to the approved H-1B labor conditions, call an experienced H-1B attorney at 480-425-2009 or contact an experienced H-1B attorney via our website to schedule anH-1B consultation. We will make sure you are complying with H-1B regulations and help you avoid fines or other negative consequences associated with H-1B non-compliance.