Labor Certification is in the news again. Dale Zieglar of the US Department of Labor (USDOL) recently sent a memo titled "Evaluating Reduction in Recruitment (RIR) Requests in an Environment of Increased Layoffs" to the Regional Certifying Officers of the USDOL across the country. As the policy steadily percolates through the various layers and areas of the Labor Certification system - the Regional USDOL Offices, the State Workforce Agencies - attorneys will gradually learn what this new memo means where the rubber meets the road. In a Letter to the Editor, an attorney shares his thoughts on the impact of the new memo for Information Technology occupations in Boston. Readers are encouraged to send in their experiences to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can all learn faster when we learn together.
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Letters to the Editor
As an immigration attorney practicing in Region I, I received the following e-mail from the AILA DOL liaison:
AILA DOL Region I Liaison, reports the following information she
> received from Ray Lopez:
> 1. As a result of the memo from Dale Ziegler, Chief of the Division of
> Foreign Labor Certification of DOL, Region I is strongly encouraging and
> recommending that labor certifications for occupations in the IT industry
> be filed under the regular labor certification process rather than RIR.
> 2. The expedite policy applies only to those cases that have been
> to the Department of Labor. There is no expedite policy in place for cases
> still pending at DET.
My concern is whether this is a unilateral ultra-vires rule that might not be in accord with national DOL policy. It appears to blanket the entire information technology industry in New England without accounting for differences in the various professions and occupations that comprise the so-called IT field. It seems that due process would still allow an individual employer the opportunity of demonstrating that for a particular job offer within the company, the employer has not been able to find a qualified ready willing and able U.S. worker after a bona fide recruitment period. My understanding is that the national office still prefers RIR whenever possible in order to reduce unnecessary bureaucratic time and expense while trying to accommodate the labor needs of U.S. employers who have shown there to be a genuine shortage of workers for the specific position for which certification is sought. This new regional policy would appear to contradict the national one.
Immigration Attorney in Boston (name withheld on request)
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