BALCA Affirmed Denial – Evidence of Recruitment with Private Employment Firms

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 Software Engineer.”

On the Employer’s Application for Permanent Employment Certification, three additional types of recruitment were listed because the job advertised was a professional position. An Audit Notification was issued by the CO on October 5, 2007 requesting documentation on the Employer’s additional recruitment steps which included: listing the job on a job search website, using the employee referral program and listing the job with a private employment firm. The Employer responded to the Audit Notification on October 19, 2007 and submitted documentation which included: a copy of ETA Form 9098, a letter from HR stating the need for the job’s requirements, the posting of the available notice for the job (dated May 21, 2007 to June 1, 2007), the recruitment report, prevailing wage determination, copies of additional postings, list of recruitment agencies used, and a copy of the employee referral program. Certification was denied on February 11, 2008 by the CO who cited failure to provide, “adequate documentation of additional recruitment steps for professional occupations” as the reason for denial. The CO went on to say the Employer lacked evidence to support the company listing minimum requirements for the job that exceeded the SVP level as well as failed to demonstrate the recruitment efforts by the private employment firms. The Employer submitted a request for review on February 29, 2008 arguing the previous evidence submitted was adequate. Following the Employer’s request for review, the CO still denied certification. The CO accepted the Employer’s argument and additional documentation concerning the business necessity but did not accept the evidence to support the recruitment efforts by private employment firms. The case was then forwarded to BALCA and a Notice of Docketing was issued on October 8, 2009. In a Statement of Position, the CO defended the denial of certification, arguing sufficient documentation was not provided by the Employer to show individuals were given the opportunity to apply for the position or, “that any recruitment was done in a timely manner.”

PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. ยง 656.17(e)(1)(ii)(F) controls and it provides that an employer may consult private employment firms as one of their additional recruitment steps for a professional position. The regulation also stipulates documentation must be provided that is “sufficient to demonstrate that recruitment has been conducted by a private firm for the occupation for which certification is sought.”

In the instant case, the Employer submitted additional evidence of the private employment firm’s recruitment efforts that was not in the original record; therefore the evidence could not be considered. BALCA found the CO properly denied certification and concluded that the Employer failed to comply with regulations.

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