Criteria for Determining A Trade or Professional Association Website
From USADNEWS Volume XII, Issue 6
In the Matter of Prithvi Information Solutions LLC (November 2013), the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) offered several criteria for determining whether an online job posting is placed through a legitimate trade or professional organization. In the instant case, the application for labor certification was denied because the employer submitted a Dice.com posting as proof of an advertisement with a trade or professional organization. The Board upheld the Certifying Officer’s (CO) determination that Dice.com is a general job search website, not a trade or professional association.
Although BALCA notes that this decision “does not provide an exhaustive list of required factors[…],” it recommends first assessing a website’s name, as most professional organizations state a description of their organization within their name. This naming convention is observed in the examples the employer offered as well-recognized trade associations: American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Computerworld, a digital publication, is an outlier, but BALCA reasoned that the name “still describes the focus of the organization.”
Professional organizations also focus on more than just career services, which is all the employer could demonstrate was offered by Dice.com. Even the news section of Dice.com was entitled “Career News and Advice.” Dice.com does not generate its own original news content, as other professional associations do. The events section of Dice.com similarly provided information only on job fairs, whereas other trade associations advertise local chapter meetings and upcoming research conferences. All the career services offered by the established trade associations the employer named are located in designated career sections of their websites. On Dice.com, every section of the site related exclusively to job-seeking advice.
Lastly, the Board identified the “About Us” section of a website as the best means of determining a site’s appropriateness as a trade or professional organization because this section “often describes the core values and purpose of an organization[…].”
USADWEB has already applied this criteria in our selection of trade and professional organizations over the past decade. We continue to provide first and last day prints of online trade postings, and can furnish copies of the “About Us” section upon request to demonstrate a website’s suitability as a trade or professional organization.