November 14, 2012
Startup companies, particularly those that receive venture capital, are major engines of growth and innovation in America. Research from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has shown that much of the job growth in America in recent years has come from startups. That is why a recent Department of Labor proposal that would force startup companies to choose between revealing private commercial information and hiring skilled workers is troubling.
The Department of Labor has proposed dramatically expanding the information requested when employers seek to hire skilled foreign nationals on H-1B visas. A recent National Foundation for American Policy report concluded, “Simply because they choose to hire one or more foreign nationals, privately-held companies would be compelled to release such financial information as their annual revenues and salary structure, information often closely guarded by entrepreneurs and small businesses.”
Information contained on the DOL’s labor condition application is made available to anyone on request via a public access file. That means any personal or commercial information that is typically guarded closely by companies would become available to competitors and others.