|November 9, 2001
Department of Labor Encourages Regional Certifying Officers to Require
Evidence that U.S. Workers are Unavailable While Labor Certification Applications
As reported last week on Greenberg Traurigís immigration website, the
Department of Labor Region I announced that employers will be required to
conduct additional advertisement for Reduction in Recruitment cases, effective
December 1, 2001. With this announcement, the inevitable question arose
whether Region Iís change in policy foreshadowed measures to be taken by
other DOL Regional Offices in the context of labor certification applications.
In its recent meeting with the American Immigration Lawyers Associationís
liaison committee, the Department of Labor (DOL) national office made another
significant announcement regarding processing labor certification applications.
In that meeting, the DOL stated that when reviewing labor certification
applications for a final determination, Regional Certifying Officers should,
at a minimum, ask employers who have recently laid off workers in the same
geographic area to prove that the terminations were not in the same occupational
category or that laid-off workers were offered the opportunity to apply
for the position offered. The new announcement is significant in that it
lengthens the period of recruitment from the six-months prior to the filing
of the labor certification application, to an indefinite period of time,
which includes the time that the application is pending before the DOL.
Furthermore, employers must keep track of those positions for which it has
labor certification applications pending and determine if any similarly-situated
positions have been terminated. If there have been lay-offs in the same
occupational category, employers should contact those individuals for interviews
to determine if they are eligible for the position.
The DOL stated that it has not formulated a policy regarding
layoffs in the same company but in different geographic locations, or industry-wide