BALCA upholds denial of Labor application – Employer failed to comply with PERM regulations

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently upheld the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification (LC) for an alien worker for the position of Stone Carver.

The Employer submitted an application and it was accepted for processing on August 17, 2006. The Employer indicated that the position was for a nonprofessional. On Form ETA 9089, the Employer indicated that the State Workforce Agency (SWA) job order ran from July 5, 2006 until August 5, 2006. In July of 2007, the CO issued a letter denying certification. The main reason for the denial was that the SWA job order was not completed at least 30 days prior to the filing of the application. A request for review was sent to the CO by the Employer’s Attorney. In summary, counsel for the Employer indicated that it had not exceeded the 180 day limit for filing. In September of 2008, the CO issued a letter of reconsideration which established that the application was filed only 11 days after the end date of the SWA job order. The CO reiterated in its letter to the Employer that the denial was valid. The CO then forwarded the case to the Board. Counsel for the Employer did not file an appellate brief, whereas the CO did file an appellate brief urging that the denial be affirmed.

Upon BALCA review it was determined that the regulations at 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(e) provide that recruitment must occur prior to the filing of the labor certification application. Specifically, if the application is for a nonprofessional occupation, the Employer must (1) place a job order, and (2) place two advertisements within six months of filing the application. The recruitment steps must be conducted at least 30 days but no more than 180 days before filing the application. Accordingly, entering the start and end date of the SWA job order on Form ETA 9089 establishes proof that these steps were completed properly. In the present case, the Employer failed to wait the proper period of time before filing its application, it only waited 11 days and needed to wait at least 30 days before submitting its application.

Accordingly, the CO properly denied certification.