BALCA upholds denial of Labor application – No On-Site Hire Exception to Advertising Requirements

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

The Employer filed a LC on behalf of an alien worker and it was accepted for processing in April of 2007. The Employer specified in the application that the position was not a professional occupation. The CO then denied the application on two grounds: the Employer failed to complete ETA Form 9089 by leaving multiple sections incomplete; the Employer used an Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) prevailing wage issued prior to March 8, 2005. Thereafter, the Employer’s owner sought a request for review. The Employer submitted information regarding the omitted sections, and attached a copy of a January 23, 2007 OES prevailing wage. Subsequently, the CO issued a letter of reconsideration accepting the Employer’s reasoning on three of the omissions, but found that the other five deficiencies were not cured by the information provided by the Employer. Specifically, the CO was requesting information concerning the State Workforce Agency (SWA) job order and the Sunday edition newspaper advertisements. For several of the selections, the Employer indicated NONE rather than filing in the specific dates required because the Alien was an “on-the-job-site hire.” The CO informed the Employer in the letter that under the regulations, a 30-day SWA job order is a mandatory recruitment step and the Employer is required to place two print advertisements in a Sunday edition newspaper. The CO then forwarded the case to BALCA. The Employer did not submit an appellate brief in support of its position, but stated that the alien was a very good employee and that he would like to keep him. The CO did file a brief urging affirmation of the denial.

Upon BALCA review, it was determined that the PERM regulations for a nonprofessional occupation require that the employer must at a minimum place a job order and two newspaper advertisements within six months of filing the application. The job order must be placed with the SWA serving the area of intended employment for a period of 30 days. Nothing in the regulations indicates that there is an “on-the-job-hire” exception to the mandatory recruitment steps. Accordingly, the CO correctly denied certification.