A foreign labor certification is usually required before an employer may employ a foreign worker permanently in the United States. As part of the labor certification process, an employer must place advertisements in various media to apprise U.S. workers of the job opportunity. Exactly what needs to be included in the ads has not been clearly defined in the labor certification regulation. The regulation requires that an employer must advertise the job openings in Sunday newspaper of general circulation for two times. In addition, employer must also fulfill three (3) additional recruiting steps for professional positions. For example, an employer can post the job opening on an online job search website as an additional step.
In the case at issue, the employer, Symantec, filed a labor application on behalf of a Financial Programmer Analyst. As one of the additional recruiting steps, they posted the job opening on a job search website. The labor application submitted does not contain any travel requirements. However, in the job search website posting, it states that the employee may be required to work on projects "at various unanticipated sites throughout the United States." The Labor Department Certifying Officer (CO) denied the labor application on the basis that the travel requirement posted is an additional requirement not included in the labor application under the regulation.
The employer on motion and appeal explained that the online job posting is for multiple openings, some of which require travel to other places, but the position being offered does not have any travel requirements. Further, the employer argued that the regulation cited by the CO only applied to newspaper advertisements but not in the other additional recruiting steps. A panel of three appeal board judges agreed with the employer and reversed the denial. However, the CO petitioned for a rehearing of the case by the whole Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA).