Articles Posted in BALCA Decisions

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.

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 “Business Development Manager-IV.”

After receiving and reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit. He directed the Employer to present copies of its recruitment records. The Employer responded with its New Jersey State Workforce Agency (SWA) Job order that was administered through America’s Job Exchange (AJE).

Once the CO received the audit materials, he denied certification of the application. The CO cited the position communicated in its recruitment advertising did not match the one listed on the Employer’s ETA Form 9089 in violation of PERM Regulations 656.17 (f)(6). In its Labor Application, the Employer stated the position required “a Master’s Degree and 12 months of experience in the job offered.” In its SWA job order, the experience requirement listed “Mid-Career (2-15 years).”

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 “MR Clinical Development Leader.”

The CO denied the labor certification without audit stating the alternative requirements for the position were not substantially equivalent to the primary job requirements on the ETA Form 9089. On the form, the Employer mentions as an alternative requirement for this position “any suitable combination of education, training and experience as an MR clinical development leader, MR Applications Production Manager, Clinical Scientist, Radiographer or as a MR Specialist.” However, the Employer lists “Bachelor’s degree in Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry or Medical Technology and 60 months of progressively responsible post-bachelor’s experience and some experience with MR equipment, product and/or application development.” The CO believed the “any suitable combination” wording did not specify the minimum acceptable requirement, so he denied the application in violation of PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(h)(4)(i).

The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial stating the CO misread their answers to the questions on the form. They argued the minimum requirements are substantially the same as the primary requirements listed on the ETA Form. The Employer mentioned PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.3, “if the employer is willing to accept work experience in lieu of a baccalaureate or higher degree, such work experience…must be stated on the application form.”

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 “Senior Systems Analyst.”

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied the Labor Application because he believed it violated PERM regulation 20 CFR 656.17(f)(4). The CO denied certification because “the newspaper advertisement failed to list the correct geographical area of employment with enough specificity to apprise applicants of any travel requirements.” He pointed out the physical area of employment contained in the employer’s job ad in the San Francisco Chronicle as well as hotjobs.yahoo.com does not match the one listed on the ETA Form. The ad lists San Francisco, while Fremont is recorded on the ETA Form. The CO stated these two cities are located in different “Metropolitan Statistical Areas” (MSA).

The Employer filed an appeal to BALCA. They declared that the CO made an error in thinking Fremont and San Francisco were in different MSA’s. The Employer argued that the “advertisements complied with PERM requirements and DOL guidelines for roaming positions.” As evidence, the Employer requested BALCA to take administrative notice of a printout from the Census Bureau’s website which lists the MSA’s, among other evidence. In addition, they wanted the Board to review a “County to County” commuting chart from the San Francisco Bay area. The Employer explained that Fremont is the company’s headquarters but the locations of the job are yet unknown.

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 “Operating Engineer.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied certification of the application because the Employer had placed their State Workforce Agency (SWA) job order more than 180 days prior to the filing of their ETA Form 9089.

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO arguing that “the 180 day period should be calculated based on the end date of the SWA, rather than the date it commenced.” To interpret the regulations otherwise would penalize employers who wanted to run their SWA’s for longer than 180 days. The CO did reconsider but afterwards, he confirmed the denial. Not happy with the outcome, the Employer appealed the decision to BALCA and restated its argument.

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 SW Engineers, Applications.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. He requested the Employer provide its recruitment documentation and a copy of its Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD). The Employer responded and the CO denied certification on two grounds. First, the wage offered in the Notice of Filing and job order was lower than the PWD. The Employer offered $59,467 and the PWD was $59.467.20. In addition, the CO stated the Employer failed to make available copies of employer notices on its employee referral program with incentives.

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO arguing the 0.0003% discrepancy should not cause their labor application to be denied. They indicated their use of “the Department of Foreign Labor’s Foreign Labor Certification (FLC) Data Center Online Wage Library to determine the appropriate annual wage.” The Employer also stated that it had provided a flier of its Employee Referral Program as well as data in its Recruitment Report about the program. Despite the Employer’s claims, the CO delivered a second denial and forwarded the case to BALCA for assessment.

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 “Director of Sales.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied certification of the application for multiple reasons. Most importantly, the Employer did not include their name on their Notice of Filing (NOF) in violation of PERM regulation 656.10(d). PERM regulation 656.17 (f)(1) mandates that the advertisements “name the employer.”

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In its argument, the Employer stated the NOF was acceptable regardless of the omission of their name. The Employer argued that public access to its building is limited and it is very plausible that only the company’s three employees would have access to the filing. With its request, the Employer submitted multiple documents including their articles of incorporation; federal tax return; photographs of the facility & bulletin posting area; certifications of accreditation; Florida Resale Certificate for Sales Tax; lease agreements; Google Map print-outs; and Miami.Dade.gov Property Information. With its Reconsideration Request, the Employer relied upon the Stone Tech decision.

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 “Forman.”

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification which provided that the employer was a closely held corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship in which the alien has an ownership interest, or …there is a familial relationship between the owners, stockholders, partners, corporate officers, incorporators, and the alien, the CO issued a “Request for Additional Information.” In 30 days, he needed the following evidence: (1) Proof of a federal employer identification number; (2) Proof that the company was a business entity; and (3) Proof of the physical location of the company. It appears from the record that most of the information requested by the CO already accompanied the Application.

A few months later, the CO delivered a “Notice of Supervised Recruitment.” The Employer was required, in 30 days, to send a draft job advertisement, corporate financial & structure documentation as well as any family relationship the Alien has to the Employer. In a timely fashion, the Employer responded by providing their business license, operating agreement, IRS FEIN number, organization certificate from the Virginia State Corporation Commission, and a letter from the Company’s owner describing his relationship to the Alien.