Articles Posted in BALCA Decisions

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.

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 “Production Supervisor.”

Upon evaluating the Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied the Labor Application because he believed it violated PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17(f)(3), as made applicable by regulation 20 CFR 656.10(d)(4). The CO stated the Employer’s Notice of Filing (NOF) did not include the requirement of having the “ability to speak Spanish” that was listed on the Employer’s 9089 form. The regulations require that an advertisement “provide a description of the vacancy specific enough to apprise the US workers of the job opportunity for which certification is sought.”

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In the argument, the Employer stated their NOF met the criteria, as it provided enough information for job applicants and by omitting the Spanish requirement, it would have allowed more candidates to apply.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Cook Assistant, Japanese Cuisine.”

After audit, the CO denied the labor certification stating the prevailing wage on the ETA form 9089 did not match the one listed on the prevailing wage determination (PWD). The Labor application listed “$10.04” per hour and the prevailing wage determination listed “$10.14” per hour. The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial stating the prevailing wage discrepancy was “a minor typographical error”, “a clerical mistake of minor importance,” and that “no potential applicant was exposed to the clerical error.” They cited its Notice of Filing included the accurate wage. The Employer also argued in order to correct and re-file the labor application they would have to re-start the time-consuming recruitment process all over again.

After reviewing the reconsideration, the CO affirmed its denial of certification. He believed that under the PERM regulations, “employers must present an application that is complete and accurate to ensure the integrity of the PERM process.” The CO also pointed out that “$10.04” was typed twice on the application. The CO based his decision on the 20 C.F.R. 656.10(c)(1), which requires employers to certify in applications for permanent employment certification that the “offered wage equals or exceeds the prevailing wage.” The CO forwarded the case to BALCA for review.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Computer & Information Systems Manager.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. Once the Employer responded to the Audit, the CO denied certification of the application for failing “to respond to the audit notification within the required time.”

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In its argument, the Employer submitted its audit response documentation that included a copy of its job posting from its website with an unreadable handwritten note displaying the dates of posting. In addition, the recruitment report signed by the Company’s President was submitted. In the report, the time frame for the job posting on the employer’s website was listed as November 30 to December 30, 2008.

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

Upon evaluating the Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, an Audit was issued. In this Audit Notification, the CO asked the Employer to explain why US workers were rejected. After reviewing the Audit response, the CO denied the labor certification stating the Employer rejected three US applicants for reasons that were not job related. The CO “found the rejections were based on the failure to meet the Employer’s job requirement of having two years of hardwood floor installation experience.” He discovered three of the candidates have other experience in the construction industry that he believed would meet the requirements for the job.

The Employer requested reconsideration and BALCA review. They argued the CO was wrong in judging these three candidates were qualified for the position. Even though the applicants did have experience in “general carpentry/and or construction,” they did not believe this experience was enough to meet the requirements of the Hardwood Floor Installer job. The Employer included a Business Necessity Letter in its Audit response materials. The Employer pointed out that one of the candidates did have skills in hard wood flooring installation but he did not list how he obtained that experience. The employer also provided proof to the CO of letters that they had sent to the US worker applicants asking for them to contact the company with further information on their qualifications. The Employer claimed none of them responded to the letters.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny Labor Certification.

After obtaining & examining an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification ordering the Employer to submit a copy of the Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) received from the State Workforce Agency (SWA) along with a copy of the request for the determination. The Employer replied to the Audit by providing a copy of the PWD issued from the Pennsylvania Bureau of Workforce Development Partnership. It did not contain a copy of its original request for a prevailing wage as submitted to the Pennsylvania SWA.

The CO denied labor certification citing the Employer’s failure to provide the request for the PWD in a timely manner. He referred to PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.20(b) as his reason for denial. PERM Regulation 656.20(b) declares, “A substantial failure by the employer to provide required documentation will result in that application being denied.”

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 “Support Engineer”.

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification directing the Employer to present its recruitment records. In the Notice of Filing (NOF), the Employer lists the position “requires a BA/BS or MA/MS degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Math, Information Systems, Business or related field; Team Manager Positions are available.” The Washington State Workforce Agency (SWA) job order stated “qualifications may include a MA/MS degree or equivalent or a BA/BS degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering, Math, Physics, Information Systems, Business or related field; Multiple positions available.”

The Employer complied with the Audit request and ultimately the CO denied certification of the application. The position communicated in its NOF and SWA did not match the one listed on the Employer’s ETA Form 9089 in violation of PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17 (f)(6). On the Employer’s NOF and SWA, it listed a Master’s degree that surpassed the requirements recorded on the ETA Form.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for several “Software Engineer” positions.

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO ordered the Employer to present copies of its recruitment data.

After reviewing the recruitment data, the CO denied the Labor Application because he believed it violated PERM regulations 20 CFR 656.10 (d)(4) and 656.17(f)(6). The CO stated the Employer’s Notice of Filing (NOF) and other recruitment materials included a travel requirement not listed on the Employer’s ETA Form 9089.

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 “Computer Programmer.”

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied the Labor Application because the Employer ran its recruitment advertising in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, as he believed it was not the newspaper of general circulation for Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was located in Bentonville, AR and the newspaper was headquartered in Little Rock, AR. He believed that the Arkansas Democrat Gazette would not bring replies from available US workers in the area of intended employment.

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In the argument, the Employer declared that “The Arkansas Democrat Gazette is most likely to bring responses from available US workers because it is the most widely circulated newspaper in Bentonville and the most widely circulated Sunday newspaper in all of Arkansas.” They submitted several pieces of evidence to back up their claims including circulation numbers from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and Mondo Times website. One of these documents stated there is no other newspaper in Bentonville, AR.

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

The CO denied the labor certification stating the alternative requirements for the position were different (not substantially equivalent) from the primary job requirements on the ETA Form 9089. The Employer mentions as an alternative requirement for this position – 12 years of related experience as being equivalent to possessing a Bachelor’s degree. On the Form, the Employer lists the “primary requirements of a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Electronic Engineering, or a closely related field, and 60 months of experience” in the job offered. The CO cited a violation of PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(h)(4)(i).

The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial stating it only listed one education and experience requirement; therefore, it did not accept an alternative combination of education & experience. They argued that their recognition of 12 years of experience as the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree is a widely used standard in the IT industry and amongst U.S. educational institutions.