BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Newspaper Advertisement omitted Employer’s Name

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

The employer filed a LC on behalf of an alien worker and in October of 2007, the CO issued an Audit Notification letter requesting among other documents, its recruitment documentation. The Employer complied with the request; however a newspaper advertisement failed to contain the Employer’s name. In May of 2008, the CO issued a letter denying certification. In June of 2008, the Employer filed a request for reconsideration providing that if anything the omission was harmless error, as they had received three resumes in response to the advertisement, and compared their case to the Board’s decision in HealthAmerica. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration but affirmed the denial for the deficiency in including the Employer’s name in the newspaper advertisement. The CO further provided that inclusion of the Employer’s name allows potential applicants to identify the employer and determine if they will apply, and that some applicants may be unwilling to blindly apply for a position in which they do not know the identity of the Employer.

The CO then forwarded the case to BALCA. The Employer filed a brief providing that applicants were not prevented from applying as the company received three resumes in response to the advertisement, and further relied upon HealthAmerica, providing that “one innocent omission should not be the basis for the entire application to crumble.” The CO filed a letter brief arguing that its decision should be affirmed by the Board, and that HealthAmerica was distinguishable from the present case because it involved a typographical error, not a clear failure to follow the regulations governing advertisements.

Upon BALCA review, regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(f)(1) controls and provides that “advertisements placed in newspapers of general circulation or in professional journals before filing the Application for Permanent Employment Certification must: (1) Name the employer and (2) Direct applicants to report or send resumes, as appropriate for the occupation, to the employer….” Here, the Employer’s newspaper advertisements failed to contain the Employer’s name, in violation of the regulation. The Board stated that the Employer’s argument that applicants were not prevented from applying because they received three resumes was not convincing. The Board reviewed and relied upon the reasoning of the CO, and also found HealthAmerica as distinguishable from the present case.

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