BALCA upholds denial of Labor application – Employer Did Not Comply with PERM Regulations

Posted On: April 22, 2009

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently upheld the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of Baker.

The Employer filed a LC on behalf of an alien worker and it was accepted for processing in February of 2006. The CO issued an Audit Notification letter in May of 2006. The CO requested that the Employer submit its Notice of Filing, and its recruitment documentation, among other documentation. In response, the Employer submitted a copy of an “Employment Notice” and copies of its newspaper advertisements for the job opportunity. In October of 2006, the CO then issued a denial letter. The CO stated that the newspaper advertisements were deficient because they did not include the Employer’s name, and the Notice of Filing did not include the appropriate address of the CO, or provide the wage offered for the position. Thereafter, the Employer filed a motion for review arguing that he complied with the regulations because the advertisements included the Employer’s personal office fax number. The Employer also argued that the case number and jurisdiction of the CO was included in the Notice of Filing. However, the Employer did not address the absence of the wage information, but attached a copy of the State Workforce Agency (SWA) wage determination. Subsequently, the CO issued a letter of reconsideration withdrawing the citation concerning the appropriate CO’s address, but found that the absence of the Employer’s name from the advertisements and the absence of the wage offer from the Notice of Filing remained valid grounds for denial of certification. The CO then forwarded the case to BALCA. The Employer did submit an appellate brief in support of its position and provided that the fax number included in the advertisements satisfied the regulatory requirements. The Employer also indicated that the wage offer was clearly provided in ETA Form 9089. Thereafter, the CO did filed a brief urging affirmation of the denial.

Upon BALCA review, it was determined that the regulation at 20 C.F.R. 656.17(f)(1) requires that the newspaper advertisement identify the Employer. The main reason behind the use of the Employer’s name in newspaper advertisements is to let applicants know what company is offering the job. The Board upheld the CO’s denial on this ground. Additionally, the regulation at 20 C.F.R. 656.10(d) requires an Employer to post a Notice of Filing of the permanent labor certification application. The Notice of Filing must state the rate of pay (which must equal or exceed the prevailing wage entered by the SWA on the prevailing wage request form.) The inclusion of the rate of pay in ETA Form 9089 did not cure the failure to include the rate of pay on the Notice of Filing. Accordingly, the Board affirmed the CO’s denial of certification on this ground.