The Department of Labor received more than 2,000 comments in response to its Request for Information on whether to revise its list of Schedule A job classifications that do not require permanent labor certification.

Key Points:

  • Schedule A has not been updated since 2004.
  • Comments from the business community — including Fortune 100 companies and business groups and organizations such as Business Roundtable, Compete America and The Institute for Progress — generally encouraged the agency to modernize Schedule A by:
    • Establishing a regular schedule for updating the list so that it does not become outdated;
    • Creating a data-driven methodology to identify shortages; and
    • Accepting feedback from the public.
  • The AFL-CIO submitted a comment urging DOL to limit Schedule A rather than broaden it and to only waive the labor market test for “Group II” positions that require exceptional ability in the sciences, arts or performing arts.

Additional Information: DOL published this RFI in December 2023 in response to a directive from President Biden in the October 2023 Executive Order on Artificial Intelligence, and accepted comments until May 13. Many of the comments in favor of updating Schedule A reminded DOL of this directive, arguing that taking this action would serve important national interests and ensure the United States continues to lead in critical fields.

BAL Analysis: The RFI was a preliminary step in the rulemaking process, and DOL will now review this information and determine its next steps. BAL will continue to monitor developments relating to Schedule A and will provide updates as information becomes available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice Group.

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