BALCA affirms denial of Labor application – Employer Failed to Comply with Notice of Filing requirements

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 Purchasing Manager.

The Employer filed an ETA Form 9089, Application for Labor Certification on behalf of the beneficiary. The position of Purchasing Manager required two years of experience in the job offered and a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Marketing. The Employer also listed an alternate education requirement of a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, English or any other Business Administration major. Following an audit in December of 2006, the CO denied certification because the Notice of Filing was not posted in accordance with the regulations. The Notice of Filing was originally posted in the President’s handwriting from July 11, 2005 until July 25, 2005. The regulations require that the Notice of Filing be posted between 30 and 180 days before the Employer files ETA Form 9089. In this case, the Employer filed ETA Form 9089 on August 9, 2005. Counsel for the Employer stated that the July 11, 2005 date was an error and that the date should have been listed as May 11, 2005. The CO informed the Employer that documentation fabrication created after the fact to correct a deficiency may be discounted and can continue to be the basis for a denial.

Furthermore, while the beneficiary met the primary experience requirements for the position, he did not meet the primary education requirements for the position. To show that the requirements for the position were not unlawfully tailored to the alien, the Employer must have indicated that U.S. applicants with suitable combinations of education, training, or experience were acceptable. In this case, the Employer failed to do so. The CO then forwarded the case to BALCA for review. Counsel for the Employer contended that there was no document fabrication or motive to deceive when filing the petition. Additionally, Counsel indicated that although the form did not state that qualified U.S. applicants with similar educational experience were acceptable, the criterion was applied in its recruitment efforts. The CO reiterated in its brief that the Employer had not posted the Notice of Filing at least 30 days before the filing of ETA Form 9089. The CO also stated that he did not abuse his discretion in this case.

Upon BALCA review, it was determined that the Employer did not comply with the regulations set forth at 20 C.F.R. §656.10(d)(iv). The applicable regulation provides that an Employer must post a Notice of Filing between 30 and 180 days before filing the application. The Board reviewed the handwritten Notice of Filing and determined that it was not sufficient. The Board went on to state that a mere statement from Employers’ counsel that the date was a mistake is not sufficient to establish that the handwritten date was a clerical or typographical error. Accordingly, the Board affirmed the CO’s denial on the Notice of Filing issue, and need not address the primary education requirements issue.

Accordingly, the Board properly affirmed the CO’s final determination.