BALCA Decision – INTERCONTINENTAL ENTERPRISES

BALCA Case No.: 2011-PER-02756

ETA Case No.: A-11118-74205

In the Matter of: INTERCONTINENTAL ENTERPRISES, INC., Employer

on behalf of SREENIVASAN, URMILA THATTAPARAMBIL, Alien.

Certifying Officer: William Carlson Atlanta Processing Center

Appearances: Suku Nair

President, Intercontinental Enterprises, Inc.

For the Employer

Before: Johnson, Purcell and Vittone

Administrative Law Judges

DECISION AND ORDER

AFFIRMING DENIAL OF CERTIFICATION

PER CURIAM. This matter arises under Section 212(a)(5)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §1182(a)(5)(A), and the “PERM” regulations found at 20 C.F.R. Part 656.

BACKGROUND

The Employer filed a Form 9089 Application for Permanent Employment Certification for the position of “Senior Food Technologist.” (AF 12-40).

This is a professional position requiring a Master’s degree in Medical and Research Technology, two years of training in Nutrition Research, and two years of experience in the job offered. (AF 26-27).

The work site was listed as Tortilleria Pacificio Company in Hyattsville, Maryland. (AF 26). The Employer reported on the Form 9089 that it ran two Sunday newspaper advertisements in The Washington Examiner. (AF 29-30).

The Certifying Officer (“CO”) denied certification, finding that The Washington Examiner was not the newspaper of general circulation “most appropriate to the occupation and the workers likely to apply for the job opportunity.” (AF 8-10).

The CO focused on the fact that the job is located in the Washington, DC area and stated that the expectation is that workers will choose newspapers with a substantial classified section because of the greater probability of finding a potential job opportunity.

The CO stated: “A newspaper with a classified section with advertisements for a large number of job opportunities, and one that includes both professional and non-professional positions as well as positions in various skill levels, industries and companies in a given field will be of greater interest to an individual seeking a job opportunity than a newspaper with a more limited classified section.” (AF 9).

The Employer requested reconsideration of the denial. (AF 1-7).

The Employer argued that The Washington Examiner “does in fact contain advertisements for similar, if not the same, job opportunities for which employment is being sought” and “in fact has a substantial classified section because of the greater probability of finding a potential job opportunity.” (AF 1).

The Employer argued that The Washington Examiner “has a classified section with advertisements for a large number of job opportunities that includes both professional and non-professional positions as well as positions in various skill levels, industries and companies in a given field.” (AF 1).

The Employer attached a printout of a Wikipedia article about The Washington Examiner, (AF 4-6) and argued that because of the size of the circulation noted in that article, it was in fact the newspaper most appropriate to the occupation and workers. (AF 1).

DISCUSSION

Under the basic recruitment process, if the application is for a professional occupation the employer must, among other recruitment steps, place two print advertisements.

Newspaper advertisements must be “in the newspaper of general circulation in the area of intended employment most appropriate to the occupation and the workers likely to apply for the job opportunity and most likely to bring responses from able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers.” 20 C.F.R. § 656.17(e)(1)(i)(B)(1) (emphasis added). When this regulation was being promulgated, the Employment and Training Administration explained in the proposed rule:

Under the current system [i.e., the pre-PERM regulations], the employer may advertise, when a newspaper of general circulation is designated as the appropriate advertising medium, in any newspaper of general circulation.

However, our experience has shown that some employers routinely place newspaper advertisements in those newspapers with the lowest circulation and that these publications are often the least likely to be read by qualified U.S. workers.

Therefore, in order for the employer’s job opening to receive appropriate exposure, the proposed regulation requires that the mandatory advertisements appear in the newspaper of general circulation most appropriate to the occupation and the workers most likely to apply for the job opportunity in the area of intended employment.

For example, in a relatively large metropolitan area such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or Washington, DC, it would not be appropriate to place an advertisement for a computer professional in a suburban newspaper of general circulation since workers interested in professional jobs consult the metropolitan newspapers in the area of intended employment with the largest circulation rather than the suburban newspapers of general circulation.

On the other hand, it would be appropriate to advertise in a suburban newspaper of general circulation for nonprofessional occupations, such as jewelers, houseworkers or drivers.

ETA, Proposed Rule, Implementation of New System, Labor Certification Process for the

Permanent Employment of Aliens in the United States [“PERM”], 20 C.F.R. Part 656, 67

Fed. Reg. 30466, 30471 (May 6, 2002).

In the instant case, the Employer placed its mandatory print advertisements in The Washington Examiner.

The Employer’s argument and the Wikipedia article only show that The Washington Examiner has a reasonably large circulation and has “help wanted” classifieds.

It does not establish that it was the best choice for the job at issue.

As the Wikipedia article produced by the Employer states, this newspaper “is printed in a ‘compact’ format, also known as a tabloid format.”

The Wikipedia article does not discuss the classified section of this newspaper.

Although The Washington Examiner possibly has a wider circulation than a limited suburban newspaper, the Employer has not proved that it is the newspaper in the Washington, D.C. area most appropriate to the occupation in question and the workers likely to apply for the job opportunity and most likely to bring responses from able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers.

Although the CO did not expressly identify which newspaper in the Washington, D.C. area he considered to have a more substantial classified section than The Washington Examiner, we note that The Washington Post, for example, is recognized as one of the United States’ major newspapers.

Moreover, it has been recognized by the District of Columbia Court of Appeals as the major circulation newspaper in the Washington, D.C. area.

Thus, we find that the Employer’s position that The Washington Examiner was the most appropriate newspaper in which to place an advertisement for a professional position is untenable.

See Carlos Uy III, 1997-INA-304 (Mar, 3, 1999)(en banc), slip op. at 13 and n.21 (adjudicator may consider inherent implausibility of proponent’s position).

ORDER

Based on the foregoing, IT IS ORDERED that the Certifying Officer’s denial of certification is AFFIRMED.

Entered at the direction of the panel by:

Todd R. Smyth

Secretary to the Board of Alien Labor

Certification Appeals

NOTICE OF OPPORTUNITY TO PETITION FOR REVIEW: This Decision and Order will become the final decision of the Secretary unless within twenty days from the date of service a party petitions for review by the full Board. Such review is not favored and ordinarily will not be granted except (1) when full Board consideration is necessary to secure or maintain uniformity of its decisions, or (2) when the proceeding involves a question of exceptional importance. Petitions must be filed with:

Chief Docket Clerk

Office of Administrative Law Judges

Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals

800 K Street, NW Suite 400

Washington, DC 20001-8002