BALCA Discusses Factors for “Professional or Trade Organizations”

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 “Account Manager.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification. It required the Employer to present all of its recruitment materials. The Employer responded with the documentation requested.

The CO denied the application based on PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. 656.17 (e) (1) (ii) (E). He stated “the employer failed to provide adequate documentation of the additional recruitment steps for professional occupations.” The Employer placed the ad for the Account Manager position on the website Dice.com, which the Employer argued was a trade or professional organization. The CO maintained that this website did not qualify as a trade or professional organization.

After denial, the Employer requested review of the case. The Employer believed the U.S. Department of Labor had inappropriately concluded Dice.com did not meet the requirements of a trade or professional organization. The Employer argued Dice.com was the same as other well- known trade or professional organizations such as Computer World and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). In addition, the employer supplied as additional evidence a statement from Dice.com’s Sales Manager as well as on-line articles from Wikipedia.org about trade and professional organizations.

The CO forwarded the case to BALCA arguing that Dice.com was only an IT career website, and not a trade or professional organization.

Upon review, BALCA affirmed the denial. They came to the conclusion based upon the evidence provided that Dice.com was not a trade or professional organization. BALCA cited that its name as well as the content of its website did not compare to other trade and professional organizations in the IT industry. As a result, the Board found that the Employer “failed to conduct the three additional recruitment steps required by PERM regulation 20CFR 656.17 (e) (1).”