Department of Labor Regulations Overhaul Labor Certification System!
On March 28, 2005, the Department of Labor (DOL) overhauled the regulations concerning the Labor Certification system (required to obtain an employment-based "Green Card").
The most significant changes concern the requirements for the Labor Certification recruitment process. While in the past there were two options (Supervised Recruitment or Reduction in Recruitment), there is now only one system by which a Labor Certification can be obtained. This system is called Program Electronic Review Management ("PERM").
Under PERM, the employer is required to conduct recruitment using multiple sources (newspaper, Internet, etc.) that includes the company name and a specific job description; and post an internal notice announcing the filing (including the salary) at the worksite and in any in-house media. The employer then must file an extensive, application with the DOL attesting to not only the recruitment, but also attesting to having complied with numerous other requirements prior to the filing. A computer system then checks the application to screen for any "red flags." Those applications that raise red flags are audited.
Changes have also been made to the positions and beneficiaries that are eligible for Labor Certification. Labor Certification applications that are no longer eligible under PERM include those which: pay less than 100% of a Prevailing Wage that is assigned by the DOL prior to filing; and include an employee who has had influence over the position he or she holds (e.g. a high level manager).