BALCA on Presumption of Delivery of DOL Mail

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Maid.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied certification. He cited the Employer’s failure to “make a selection for Section H-1” of the 9089 form as grounds for the denial. The Employer submitted a reconsideration request stating that they had completed Section H-1.

The CO issued “a request for information about the bona fides of the Employer’s business.” In addition, he sent an Audit notification to the company’s attorney. After the deadline had passed to receive the Audit response, the CO affirmed its initial denial of labor certification. The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO arguing that it never received the Audit notification or the request for information. In its argument, the Employer sent a letter from their General Manager that stated he had never received a letter. They also provided email documentation from the Atlanta Processing Center which cited the Employer’s attorney’s response to the request for information from a request initially made in 2008. The CO denied reconsideration stating the Audit notification was mailed to the address on record, no change of address was recorded within the file, and the other letters were delivered and responded to with no problem.

After BALCA’s examination of the case, the Panel sided with the Employer. The Board believed the CO just presumed delivery of the mail with no actual proof that the Audit response was actually delivered to the Company’s attorney. BALCA felt the Employer was sincerely trying to respond to all of its correspondence and without evidence of the contrary; the Board remanded the case back to the CO for processing.