BALCA upholds denial of Labor application – Employer failed to obtain a proper PWD

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 Marketing Consultant.

In August of 2005, the Employer submitted a labor certification application on behalf of an alien worker. The application indicated that the job location was Warren, Rhode Island. Shortly thereafter, the CO issued an audit notification requesting among other documents, the prevailing wage determination (PWD) issued by the State Workforce Agency (SWA). The PWD submitted by the Employer was from California, not Rhode Island. Portions of the California form were crossed out, with Rhode Island being inserted. The portion of the form which provides the job site address and county of job site listed both a Rhode Island address and county and a California address and county. The form was not signed nor dated by the SWA and several important portions were left blank. Specifically, the portions dealing with the Survey Data, Survey Area, Research Analyst were blank. No Rhode Island phone number was provided. The Employer then requested reconsideration arguing that the Rhode Island SWA had informed his office that they could utilize the California prevailing wage request form because they did not have their own form at the time of request. In September of 2008, the CO issued a letter denying certification because the Employer had failed to submit a prevailing wage determination that complied with regulations. The PWD submitted was not effectively endorsed by the Rhode Island SWA, and therefore, it could not be considered valid. The CO then forwarded the case to the Board. Counsel for the Employer argued that it was harmless error, and the CO argued that the Employer failed to provide sufficient documentation to demonstrate that the Rhode Island SWA issued the PWD in question.

Upon BALCA review it was determined that the regulations require that an Employer request a prevailing wage determination from the SWA having jurisdiction over the area of intended employment. Additionally, the SWA must endorse the PWD and return it properly to the Employer. In the case at hand, there was not sufficient information presented that the PWD submitted was actually issued by the Rhode Island SWA.

Accordingly, the CO properly denied certification.