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BALCA Determines that Lack of Experience is a Lawful Job Related Reason to Reject U.S

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Recently, the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (“BALCA”) issued a decision that considered what type of evidence is needed to demonstrate that a U.S. worker is not qualified for a position being sponsored through labor certification. In Matter of Presto Absorbent Products, Inc., the employer had sponsored the position of “Engineering Manager.” The case was selected for audit and was denied because the Certifying Officer (“CO”) determined that the “employer’s recruitment report made only a generalized statement that U.S. workers did not meet the employer’s minimum requirements . . . Furthermore, the recruitment report did not contain the specific lawful job related reasons for rejection.” The employer’s recruitment report listed that eight resumes had been received for the sponsored role. It stated that the applicants lacked the required experience and “[a]ll applicants were reviewed to determine if they would be able and qualified to perform the duties of the position with a reasonable amount of on-the-job training. All applicants were determined not to have been able and qualified for the position even with a reasonable amount of on-the-job training.” BALCA reviewed the federal regulations and found that they did not “indicate a level of specificity beyond what the employer provided” in regards to disqualifying U.S. workers. BALCA also stated that it is permissible for employers to reject U.S. workers based upon lack of experience. Consequently, the CO’s decision was reversed. This case provides confirmation that U.S. workers may be rejected on the basis that they lack the necessary experience and would not be able to gain this experience through a period of on-the-job training. However, due to the Department of Labor’s recent focus on whether U.S. workers could become qualified for sponsored positions through a period of on-the-job training, the Hammond Law Group suggests that employers may want to provide detailed recruitment reports that specifically discuss why U.S. workers were not qualified and could not gain the necessary qualifications through a period of training. This post originally appeared on HLG's Views blog by Cadence Moore. http://www.hammondlawgroup.com/blog/.

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