Volume VIII, Issue 8 December 2014

In This Issue
1. Upcoming Holiday Weekends: Christmas and New Year's
2. President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration: Department of Labor to Modernize PERM Program
3. NPWC No Longer Issuing Prevailing Wage Based on Employer Surveys
4. Holiday Cheer!
5. United States Unemployment Rate November 2014
6. PERM Processing Times as of December 2, 2014

Clients' Comments Corner:
See what our clients are saying about us!

1. Upcoming Holiday Weekends: Christmas and New Year's

The winter holidays are just around the corner! Some attorneys choose to avoid running advertisements on holiday weekends. This year, Christmas and New Year's Day fall on a Thursday. Please advise your ad representative if you will be skipping the Sundays that follow these holidays: December 28th and January 4th.

For more information and to make a decision about running on holiday weekends, you can read more about the Department of Labor (DOL) Open Forum on Holiday Recruitment.

2. President Obama Announces Executive Action on Immigration: Department of Labor to Modernize PERM Program

On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced a series of executive actions to reform and streamline the immigration process in the United States. His initiatives covered multiple areas of immigration, including the expansion of Deferred Action Programs, improving the current visa processing system, and establishing a Task Force on New Americans to address the issues of integration and citizenship. The executive orders also outlined reforms to employment-based visa programs, such as the Optional Practical Training Program, L-1B visas for “intracompany transferees,” and H-1B visas for temporary workers.

Among the reforms to employment-based visas was an instruction to modernize the PERM process, which has not been thoroughly examined since it was instituted ten years ago. The Department of Labor (DOL) acknowledges that during the past decade both the labor force and standard recruitment methods have changed. As more than 70,000 PERM applications were submitted last year, the regulations that govern the labor certification process need to be reviewed to ensure that they are up to date with current employment needs and practices.

According to a FactSheet from the Department’s website, the DOL will initiate a new rulemaking process, specifically seeking input on the following:

  • Options for identifying labor force occupational shortages and surpluses and methods for aligning domestic worker recruitment requirements with demonstrated shortages and surpluses;
  • Methods and practices designed to modernize U.S. worker recruitment requirements;
  • Processes to clarify employer obligations to insure PERM positions are fully open to U.S. workers;
  • Ranges of case processing timeframes and possibilities for premium processing; and
  • Application submission and review process and feasibility for efficiently addressing nonmaterial errors.
  • The specific effect this will have on the recruitment requirements for labor certification applications is unknown at this time. USADWEB will provide information as it becomes available. Further details on the executive action can be found at www.uscis.gov/immigrationaction.

    3. NPWC No Longer Issuing Prevailing Wage Based on Employer Surveys

    As of December 8, 2014 the National Prevailing Wage Center (NPWC) will no longer issue prevailing wage determinations (PWD) based on employer provided wage surveys for H-2B applications. This is a result of the Court order issued on December 5, 2014 in Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas et al v. Solis, No. 14-3557 (3rd Cir.), which vacated the portion of the H-2B wage rule at 20 CFR § 655.10(f) and the 2009 Wage Guidance that permitted the use of alternative surveys.

    Prevailing wage determinations for any requests that are currently pending will be issued based upon the appropriate Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) wage for the occupation. Employers who have already received a PWD based on an employer provided survey, but who have not yet received a final determination, will be notified of their new wage obligation when they receive their certification letters. Any employers who seek to utilize a Service Contract Act or Davis Bacon Act wage determination, or a wage based on a Colletive Bargaining Agreement, may request redetermination under 20 CFR § 655.10(g).

    4. Holiday Cheer!

    USADWEB received the following PERM ad for a non-professional position:

    Arendelle Ice Company seeks an Ice Harvester to harvest, transport, and sell natural ice for domestic consumption in and around the Kingdom of Arendelle. Must be able to lift over 150lbs, ability to work overnight & weekends in blizzard conditions. 6 months experience required. Travel to various tundra locations req'd. Must be able to communicate with reindeer. Assist in search for missing ice queens as necessary. Send your resume to Arendelle Ice Company, 1795 North Mountain Road, Kingdom of Arendelle.

    Although the position requires travel to multiple locations, the position only needs to be advertised in the area where the company is headquartered.  USADWEB provided a quote for two Sundays in the Arendelle Beacon Reporter.

    5. United States Unemployment Rate November 2014

    The unemployment rates around the country can greatly impact a company's decision to sponsor an application for labor certification. When unemployment rates are high, companies may elect not to proceed with the certification process. Rates can vary by state and industry. There are several states with jobless rates that are well below the national average. Employers in these states may be more available to sponsor employees. USADWEB is providing information on the current unemployment rates as a convenient tool to assist you as you prepare your cases. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.8% in November of 2014, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    6. PERM Processing Times as of December 2, 2014

    PERM processing times are important to you and your clients. Therefore, each month USADWEB is pleased to be able to update you on the current processing times for reviews, audits, and appeals as reported on www.icert.doleta.gov:

    PERM Processing Times
    Processing Queue Priority Dates
    Month Year
    Analyst Reviews July 2014
    Audits May 2013
    Reconsideration Requests to the CO December 2014
    Gov't Error Reconsiderations Current

    The Office of Foreign Labor Certification (OFLC) is working diligently to reduce the Permanent Labor Certification Program's pending caseload. The dates on the above table reflect the month and year in which applications are now being adjudicated at the Atlanta National Processing Center. If you need assistance with an application that was filed more than 3 months prior to the month posted, you can contact the OFLC Helpdesk at plc.atlanta@dol.gov.

    Clients' Comments Corner

    USADWEB provides excellent and prompt service. I have worked with USADWEB for almost three years, and they consistently deliver on-time results at a reasonable cost. I rely on USADWEB for not only their service, but also their expertise in the various advertising outlets throughout the country.

    (New York, NY)

    About USADWEB

    USADWEB, LLC. is an innovative advertising agency that understands the immigration needs of companies placing recruitment advertising for labor certification cases in PERM, supervised recruitment, and H2B processes. For more than half a decade, we have helped law offices and companies all over the United States meet the Department of Labor's recruiting requirements. Take advantage of our expertise and relationships with publications throughout the country. Our knowledgeable staff has experience placing all forms of recruitment: newspapers, periodicals, journals, internet job search postings, campus recruitment, radio ads, and more. Contact a representative for more information on placing your ads today!

    As always, USADWEB welcomes your feedback.

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    Finally, if you have any questions or comments regarding anything you read in a NewsBlast, or if you have additional information that you would like to share, please feel free to contact us.

    USADVolume VIII, Issue 8 December 2014

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