BALCA Rejects Employer’s Use of Washington Examiner for PERM Ads

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 Food Technologist.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied the application. He believed that the Washington Examiner, where the employer placed its Sunday job postings, did not classify as a newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment. The CO was certain most job seekers would choose a paper with a larger classified section and job advertisements. He based his denial on PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17 (e)(1)(i)(B)(1). This regulation mandates newspaper advertisements for recruitment must be placed “in the newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment most appropriate to the occupation and the workers likely to apply for the job opportunity; and most likely to bring responses from able, willing, qualified and available U.S. workers.”

After the denial, the Employer requested reconsideration of the case. The Employer argued the Washington Examiner did have a substantial classified section. They stated the newspaper “has a classified section with advertisements for a large number of job opportunities that included both professional & non-professional positions.” In its reconsideration request, the Employer included a “Wikipedia” article about the Washington Examiner. The Employer argued that because of the size of the circulation of the Examiner as reported on the Wikipedia page, it was in fact the newspaper most appropriate to the occupation and workers.

The CO forwarded the appeal to BALCA for review. BALCA thought the Employer did not prove that the Washington Examiner was the newspaper in the Washington DC area most appropriate to the occupation in question. The Board considered the Washington Post to be a more suitable general circulation newspaper. BALCA thereby affirmed the CO’s denial of the labor certification.