BALCA Decision – US Teacher Wrongfully Denied Job Interview

BALCA Case: Matter of: Preescolar San Juan Evangelista on behalf of Maria Alejandra Gonzalez Valbuena, case number 2013-PER-00613

On June 2nd 2017 BALCA affirmed the denial of a certification for a preschool teacher position at a Catholic school in Puerto Rico.

Brief facts of the case are as follows:

The employer’s position of Preschool teacher had minimum work experience requirement of 6 months.

During the PERM recruitment process the employer received a resume from a U.S. applicant.

The U.S. applicant’s resume indicated that she worked as a teacher from 2010 to 2011 as part of an internship and worked as a teacher for another employer in 2010.

The employer did not consider this previous work experience to meet their minimum work experience requirement of 6 months and did not attempt to interview the applicant.

In its decision BALCA stated that since a worker can gain experience for a job during on-the-job training, that was not a valid reason for the school to reject the U.S. worker without at least having the person come in for an interview for a further evaluation.

The BALCA decision goes on to state “Even if we were to accept the employer’s assertion that an internship position teaching preschool does not meet its six-month experience requirement, it is likely that applicant K.G.F. could have acquired the skills necessary to perform the job opportunity through a reasonable period of on-the-job training, considering her internship experience”.

The takeaway for employers undergoing the PERM process is to remember that a key mission of the DOL is to protect the U.S. worker and non compliance with the PERM regulation as stated in CFR › Title 20 › Chapter V › Part 656 › Subpart C could have negative consequences.

More BALCA Decisions.