BALCA upholds denial of Labor Certification – Employer Failed to Submit Proper Documentation to satisfy the Business Necessity Requirement

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 “Truck Driver.”

The employer filed a LC which was accepted for processing on June 1, 2007. ETA Form 9089 indicated that knowledge of a foreign language was required to perform the job duties. The CO issued an Audit Notification letter requesting further documentation justifying the business necessity for this job requirement. The Employer responded by stating that the “job opportunity requires the capability to speak a foreign language because the products that the company hauls are shipped to Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico.” The Employer added that the community speaks either Spanish or German, and a truck driver who did not speak either of those languages would be at a disadvantage. Further, the employer asserted that the truck drivers it currently employs are fluent in English, Spanish and German. Thereafter the CO issued a denial letter; the Employer responded by requesting reconsideration and asked the CO what type of evidence it needed to submit to address the business necessity requirement and that it would be willing to provide any and all supporting documentation needed. The CO issued a letter of reconsideration indicating that the Employer had not justified its foreign language requirement by demonstrating business necessity.

PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(h) controls and it provides:

(2) A foreign language requirement can not be included, unless it is justified by business necessity. Demonstrating business necessity for a foreign language requirement may be based upon the following:

(i) the nature of the occupation (e.g., translator); or
(ii) the need to communicate with a large majority of the employer’s customers, contractors, or employees who can not communicate effectively in English, as documented by:

(A) the employer furnishing the number and proportion of its clients, contractors, or employees who can not communicate in English, and/or a detailed plan to market products or services in a foreign country; and
(B) a detailed explanation of why the duties of the position for which certification is sought requires frequent contact and communication with customers, employees or contractors who can not communicate in English and why it is reasonable to believe the allegedly foreign-language-speaking customers, employees, and contractors can not communicate in English.

In the instant case, there is no evidence establishing that the occupation of “Truck Driver” normally requires a foreign language requirement, and only mere assertions were made to attempt to satisfy the business necessity requirement without any actual supporting documentation provided by the employer. BALCA stated that the Employer did not meet its burden of justifying the foreign language requirement by demonstrating a business necessity.

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

Matter of UMC Logistics, Inc.

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