Now that Acosta has been confirmed, it is likely that we will begin to see clarity as to the future policy of DOL and more immediately whether DOL will continue to defend the overtime rule in court. We expect Acosta will make decisions on how to proceed with the overtime rule rather quickly.
On April 18, President Trump signed an Executive Order (EO) entitled Buy American and Hire American which instructs federal agencies through the use of federal financial assistance awards and federal procurements to “maximize” the use of American goods and products and to “rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the U.S.” Additionally, the EO focuses specifically on reforming the H-1B program so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.
On April 3, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) suspended premium processing for all H-1B petitions for a period of up to six months. This temporary suspension was announced in early March. The agency claims the change will help reduce overall processing times, as USCIS will be able to “process long-pending petitions … and prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240-day mark.”
According to data from CUPA-HR’s Faculty and Department Heads in Higher Education Salary Survey, the hottest disciplines for new faculty hires in higher ed are nursing, psychology and English language/literature. Mathematics and music round out the top five.
On March 30, the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) favorably reported out the nomination of President Trump’s choice for secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta. Approved in a 12-11 vote along party lines, Acosta’s nomination now advances to the full Senate for consideration.