BALCA Affirms CO’s Denial – NOF Did Not Provide “Offered Wage”

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the final determination of a Certifying Officer (CO) denying labor certification for an alien worker for the position of “Senior Immigration Paralegal.”

The Employer’s Application was originally accepted by the CO on August 22, 2007 on which the Employer had stated a bachelor’s degree and 60 months of related experience were required for the position. Also indicated were a yearly wage of $70,000 and a prevailing wage of $43,413 per year. An Audit Notification was issued by the CO requesting proof of business necessity as well as a copy of the NOF. The Employer’s response containing the NOF included a prevailing wage determination (PWD) of $43,413 per year, and the response included a statement justifying the business necessity for the stated minimum job requirements. Certification was denied by the CO on January 9, 2009. The wage listed on the NOF was lower than the wage offered to the alien by the Employer. After reviewing the case, the Employer argued that at the time of posting the NOF the alien was being paid a different amount and offered supporting documentation. The case was then forwarded to BALCA by the CO.

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. §656.17(f)(7) controls and it provides that an advertisement must not contain wages or terms and conditions of employment that are less favorable than those offered to the alien. In the present case, the NOF listed a wage range of $50,000-$65,000 but when the application was filed by the Employer, the alien was being paid $70,000 per year. Therefore, the wage offered to the alien was “$70,000.00.”

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