Articles Posted in BALCA Decisions

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 Specialty Chef.

The Employer filed a LC on behalf of an alien worker and it was accepted for processing in September of 2005. In March of 2006, the CO denied the application because of numerous deficiencies. The appeal before the Board only addressed one of the deficiencies, the failure of the Employer to specify the expiration date of the State Workforce Agency (SWA) prevailing wage determination. The Employer’s original petition provided November 2003, as the determination date and stated “N/A” for the expiration date of the SWA prevailing wage determination. The CO’s denial letter addressed the issue concerning the absence of the expiration date. Thereafter, the Employer’s attorney filed a request for review. The Employer’s attorney provided answers for a number of the omissions and submitted additional documentation. In regards to the expiration date of the SWA prevailing wage determination, the Employer’s attorney stated 2004. Subsequently, the CO issued a letter of reconsideration in August of 2008. The CO found that the Employer’s attorney had successfully rebutted several of the deficiencies, but still affirmed the denial of certification based upon a number of reasons. The CO provided that the expiration date of the prevailing wage determination was an important piece of information that needed to be provided in a month, day and year format, consistent with the regulations. The CO then forwarded the case to BALCA. The Employer did not submit an appellate brief in support of its position, but the CO did file a brief urging denial based on the fact that the application was incomplete.
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The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Software Engineer.”

After obtaining & examining an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification ordering the Employer to submit its Prevailing Wage Determination (PWD) and other requested documentation. The Employer replied to the Audit by providing the PWD as well as the other documents.

The CO denied the labor certification stating the prevailing wage on the ETA form 9089 did not match the one listed on the PWD. He cited a violation of PERM Regulations 656.10(c) (1), 656.40 AND 656.41. In addition, the Employer’s Notice of Filing did not contain the job requirements or duties as listed on the ETA Form 9089. The Employer requested a reconsideration of the denial stating the prevailing wage inconsistency was an unintentional harmless error. The Employer also believed all of its audit response materials were compliant with PERM regulations.

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 Software Engineer.”

The CO denied the labor certification stating the alternative requirements for the position were different (not substantially equivalent) from the primary job requirements on the ETA Form 9089. The Employer mentions as an alternative requirement for this position – 12 years of related experience as being equivalent to possessing a Bachelor’s degree. On the Form, the Employer lists the “primary requirements of a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Electronic Engineering, or a closely related field, and 60 months of experience” in the job offered. The CO cited a violation of PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(h)(4)(i).

The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial stating it only listed one education and experience requirement; therefore, it did not accept an alternative combination of education & experience. They argued that their recognition of 12 years of experience as the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree is a widely used standard in the IT industry and amongst U.S. educational institutions.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Support Engineer”.

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO issued an Audit notification directing the Employer to present its recruitment records. In the Notice of Filing (NOF), the Employer lists the position “requires a BA/BS or MA/MS degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering, Physics, Math, Information Systems, Business or related field; Team Manager Positions are available.” The Washington State Workforce Agency (SWA) job order stated “qualifications may include a MA/MS degree or equivalent or a BA/BS degree or equivalent in Computer Science, Engineering, Math, Physics, Information Systems, Business or related field; Multiple positions available.”

The Employer complied with the Audit request and ultimately the CO denied certification of the application. The position communicated in its NOF and SWA did not match the one listed on the Employer’s ETA Form 9089 in violation of PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17 (f)(6). On the Employer’s NOF and SWA, it listed a Master’s degree that surpassed the requirements recorded on the ETA Form.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently affirmed the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for several “Software Engineer” positions.

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO ordered the Employer to present copies of its recruitment data.

After reviewing the recruitment data, the CO denied the Labor Application because he believed it violated PERM regulations 20 CFR 656.10 (d)(4) and 656.17(f)(6). The CO stated the Employer’s Notice of Filing (NOF) and other recruitment materials included a travel requirement not listed on the Employer’s ETA Form 9089.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Computer Programmer.”

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied the Labor Application because the Employer ran its recruitment advertising in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, as he believed it was not the newspaper of general circulation for Bentonville, Arkansas. The company was located in Bentonville, AR and the newspaper was headquartered in Little Rock, AR. He believed that the Arkansas Democrat Gazette would not bring replies from available US workers in the area of intended employment.

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In the argument, the Employer declared that “The Arkansas Democrat Gazette is most likely to bring responses from available US workers because it is the most widely circulated newspaper in Bentonville and the most widely circulated Sunday newspaper in all of Arkansas.” They submitted several pieces of evidence to back up their claims including circulation numbers from the Arkansas Democrat Gazette and Mondo Times website. One of these documents stated there is no other newspaper in Bentonville, AR.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “MR Clinical Development Leader.”

The CO denied the labor certification without audit stating the alternative requirements for the position were not substantially equivalent to the primary job requirements on the ETA Form 9089. On the form, the Employer mentions as an alternative requirement for this position “any suitable combination of education, training and experience as an MR clinical development leader, MR Applications Production Manager, Clinical Scientist, Radiographer or as a MR Specialist.” However, the Employer lists “Bachelor’s degree in Radiology, Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry or Medical Technology and 60 months of progressively responsible post-bachelor’s experience and some experience with MR equipment, product and/or application development.” The CO believed the “any suitable combination” wording did not specify the minimum acceptable requirement, so he denied the application in violation of PERM Regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(h)(4)(i).

The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial stating the CO misread their answers to the questions on the form. They argued the minimum requirements are substantially the same as the primary requirements listed on the ETA Form. The Employer mentioned PERM regulation 20 C.F.R. § 656.3, “if the employer is willing to accept work experience in lieu of a baccalaureate or higher degree, such work experience…must be stated on the application form.”

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Software Engineer.”

The CO denied the labor certification stating “the Employer did not notify potentially qualified laid-off US workers of the job opportunity.” In response, the Employer requested reconsideration of the denial. The Employer argued they did not have a US worker who met the qualifications of the position. The CO sent an Audit Notification requesting documentation of all of the laid-off US workers and how they were advised of the available position and the results of such notification and consideration. A month later, the Employer presented a recruitment report that summarized its “lay-off review.”

Once again, the CO denied the labor application because he believed “a US worker was rejected for non-job related reasons.” The Employer did not re-hire the US worker because he did not have the required specific skill sets. While the CO was aware that the US worker lacked the qualifications, he believed the worker could gain through reasonable on the job training the skills necessary to perform the job duties of the position.

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 “Director of Sales.”

After receiving & reviewing an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification, the CO denied certification of the application for multiple reasons. Most importantly, the Employer did not include their name on their Notice of Filing (NOF) in violation of PERM regulation 656.10(d). PERM regulation 656.17 (f)(1) mandates that the advertisements “name the employer.”

The Employer sent a reconsideration request to the CO. In its argument, the Employer stated the NOF was acceptable regardless of the omission of their name. The Employer argued that public access to its building is limited and it is very plausible that only the company’s three employees would have access to the filing. With its request, the Employer submitted multiple documents including their articles of incorporation; federal tax return; photographs of the facility & bulletin posting area; certifications of accreditation; Florida Resale Certificate for Sales Tax; lease agreements; Google Map print-outs; and Miami.Dade.gov Property Information. With its Reconsideration Request, the Employer relied upon the Stone Tech decision.

The Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) recently overturned the decision of a Certifying Officer (CO) to deny labor certification for the position of “Forman.”

Upon evaluating an Employer’s Application for Permanent Labor Certification which provided that the employer was a closely held corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship in which the alien has an ownership interest, or …there is a familial relationship between the owners, stockholders, partners, corporate officers, incorporators, and the alien, the CO issued a “Request for Additional Information.” In 30 days, he needed the following evidence: (1) Proof of a federal employer identification number; (2) Proof that the company was a business entity; and (3) Proof of the physical location of the company. It appears from the record that most of the information requested by the CO already accompanied the Application.

A few months later, the CO delivered a “Notice of Supervised Recruitment.” The Employer was required, in 30 days, to send a draft job advertisement, corporate financial & structure documentation as well as any family relationship the Alien has to the Employer. In a timely fashion, the Employer responded by providing their business license, operating agreement, IRS FEIN number, organization certificate from the Virginia State Corporation Commission, and a letter from the Company’s owner describing his relationship to the Alien.

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