BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Employer Offered Terms and Conditions of Employment Less Favorable than those Offered to the Foreign Worker

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 “Production Worker.”

The employer filed a LC which was accepted for processing on December 15, 2006. ETA Form 9089 indicated a requirement of three months of experience in the job offered and that the job opportunity’s requirements were normal for the position. The CO issued an Audit Notification letter requesting evidence of recruitment and other required documentation. The Employer responded by submitting copies of its newspaper advertisements, as well as the other required documentation. Thereafter the CO denied certification because the newspaper advertisements offered terms and conditions of employment less favorable than those offered to the Alien, in violation of 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f)(7). Specifically, the advertisements contained criminal background checks, not listed on Form ETA 9089. The Employer responded by requesting reconsideration stating that it was amending Form ETA to attest to its requirement for a criminal background check, the employer amended the form by changing the answer in section H-12 from “yes” to “no”. The CO asserted that by amending its response to “NO” in Section H-12, the Employer did not indicate that a criminal background check was required. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration indicating that denial was proper because the newspaper advertisements offered terms and conditions of employment to the U.S. worker that were less favorable than those listed on ETA Form 9089 for the foreign worker.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f)(7) controls and it provides:

Advertisements placed in newspapers of general circulation or in professional journals must “not contain wages or terms and conditions of employment that are less favorable than those offered to the alien.”

In the instant case, the advertisements contained a requirement for criminal background checks, which were not listed on Form ETA 9089. In Summary, the Employer did not amend its application to include this requirement, but instead changed its answer to question H-12, indicating that a job opportunity’s requirements were not normal for the occupation. This change did not cure the deficiency.

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

Matter of Noll Pallet & Lumber Co.