BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Employer Failed to Timely Address Business Necessity Issue

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

The employer filed a LC which was accepted for processing on January 16, 2007. ETA Form 9089 indicated that the job required a high school education and twenty-four (24) months of experience in the job offered. The CO issued an Audit Notification letter indicating that the O*Net indicates that one (1) year of experience is normal for the occupation and specifically directed the Employer to establish business necessity for its two (2) year requirement. The Employer responded to the Audit Notification but failed to address the business necessity issue. Thereafter the CO issue a denial letter, the Employer responded by requesting reconsideration and submitted a letter regarding why two (2) years experience was required for the position. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration indicating that the new letter constituted new evidence that was not in the record at the time that the application was filed and on which the denial was based.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.20(b) controls and it provides that when an application is audited, the audit procedure specifies that a substantial failure by the employer to provide required documentation will result in that application being denied. In the instant case, the CO’s Audit Notification specifically requested that the Employer document the business necessity for its two (2) year experience requirement. BALCA stated that the failure to address the business necessity was clearly a substantial failure to provide documentation required by the audit notification. In addition, the regulations governing motions for reconsideration provided that the request for reconsideration may not include evidence not previously submitted.

Accordingly, the Board affirmed the decision of the CO in denying labor certification.

Matter of Dr. Haig Rickerby Dental Office