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e-CFR data is current as of August 6, 2020

Title 20Chapter VPart 655Subpart E → Subject Group


Title 20: Employees' Benefits
PART 655—TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES
Subpart E—Labor Certification Process for Temporary Employment in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CW-1 Workers)


Integrity Measures

§655.470   Audits.

The CO may conduct audits of certified CW-1 Applications for Temporary Employment Certification.

(a) Discretion. The CO has the sole discretion to choose the certified applications selected for audit.

(b) Audit letter. Where an application is selected for audit, the CO will issue an audit letter to the employer and a copy, if appropriate, to the employer's attorney or agent. The audit letter will:

(1) Specify the documentation that must be submitted by the employer;

(2) Specify a date, no more than 30 calendar days from the date the audit letter is issued, by which the required documentation must be sent to the CO; and

(3) Advise that failure to comply fully with the audit process may result:

(i) In the requirement that the employer undergo the assisted recruitment procedures in §655.471 in future filings of CW-1 Applications for Temporary Employment Certification for a period of up to 2 years; or

(ii) In a revocation of the certification or debarment from the CW-1 program and any other foreign labor certification program administered by the Department.

(c) Supplemental information request. During the course of the audit examination, the CO may request supplemental information or documentation from the employer in order to complete the audit. If circumstances warrant, the CO can issue one or more requests for supplemental information.

(d) Potential referrals. In addition to measures in this subpart, the CO may decide to provide the audit findings and underlying documentation to DHS or other appropriate enforcement agencies. The CO may refer any findings that an employer discouraged a qualified U.S. worker from applying, or failed to hire, discharged, or otherwise discriminated against a qualified U.S. worker, to the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Immigrant and Employee Rights Section.

§655.471   Assisted recruitment.

(a) Requirement of assisted recruitment. If, as a result of audit or otherwise, the CO determines that a violation has occurred that does not warrant debarment, the CO may require the employer to engage in assisted recruitment for a defined period of time for any future CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

(b) Notification of assisted recruitment. The CO will notify the employer (and its attorney or agent, if applicable) in writing of the assisted recruitment that will be required of the employer for a period of up to 2 years from the date the notice is issued. The notification will state the reasons for the imposition of the additional requirements, state that the employer's agreement to accept the conditions will constitute their inclusion as bona fide conditions and terms of a CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification, and offer the employer an opportunity to request an administrative review. If administrative review is requested, the procedures in §655.461 apply.

(c) Assisted recruitment. The assisted recruitment process will be in addition to any recruitment required of the employer by §§655.442 through 655.445 and may consist of, but is not limited to, one or more of the following:

(1) Requiring the employer to submit a draft advertisement to the CO for review and approval at the time of filing the CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification;

(2) Designating the sources where the employer must recruit for U.S. workers in the Commonwealth and directing the employer to place the advertisement(s) in such sources;

(3) Extending the length of the placement of the advertisements;

(4) Requiring the employer to notify the CO in writing when the advertisement(s) are placed;

(5) Requiring an employer to perform any additional assisted recruitment directed by the CO;

(6) Requiring the employer to provide proof of the publication of all advertisements as directed by the CO;

(7) Requiring the employer to provide proof of all U.S. workers who applied (or on whose behalf an application is made) in response to the employer's recruitment efforts;

(8) Requiring the employer to submit any proof of contact with all referrals and former U.S. workers; or

(9) Requiring the employer to provide any additional documentation verifying it conducted the assisted recruitment as directed by the CO.

(d) Failure to comply. If an employer materially fails to comply with requirements ordered by the CO under this section, the certification will be denied and the employer and its attorney or agent may be debarred under §655.473.

§655.472   Revocation.

(a) Basis for revocation. The OFLC Administrator may revoke a TLC approved under this subpart, if the OFLC Administrator finds:

(1) The issuance of the TLC was not justified due to fraud or misrepresentation of a material fact in the application process;

(2) The employer substantially failed to comply with any of the terms or conditions of the approved TLC. A substantial failure is a failure to comply that constitutes a significant deviation from the terms and conditions of the approved certification and is further defined in §655.473(d); or

(3) The employer impeded the audit process, as set forth in §655.470, or impeded any Federal Government Official performing an investigation, inspection, audit, or law enforcement function.

(b) DOL procedures for revocation—(1) Notice of Revocation. If the OFLC Administrator makes a determination to revoke an employer's TLC, the OFLC Administrator will issue a Notice of Revocation to the employer (and its attorney or agent, if applicable). The notice will contain a detailed statement of the grounds for the revocation and inform the employer of its right to submit rebuttal evidence to the OFLC Administrator or to request administrative review of the Notice of Revocation by BALCA. If the employer does not submit rebuttal evidence or request administrative review within 10 business days from the date the Notice of Revocation is issued, the notice will become the final agency action and will take effect immediately at the end of the 10 business days.

(2) Rebuttal. If the employer timely submits rebuttal evidence, the OFLC Administrator will inform the employer of the final determination on the revocation within 10 business days of receiving the rebuttal evidence. If the OFLC Administrator determines that the certification must be revoked, the OFLC Administrator will inform the employer of its right to appeal the final determination to BALCA according to the procedures of §655.461. If the employer does not appeal the final determination, it will become the final agency action.

(3) Request for review. An employer may appeal a Notice of Revocation or a final determination of the OFLC Administrator after the review of rebuttal evidence to BALCA, according to the appeal procedures of §655.461.

(4) Stay. The timely submission of rebuttal evidence or a request for administrative review will stay the revocation pending the outcome of the proceeding.

(5) Decision. If the TLC is revoked, the OFLC Administrator will provide copies of final revocation decisions to DHS and DOS promptly.

(c) Employer's obligations in the event of revocation. If an employer's TLC is revoked, the employer is responsible for:

(1) Reimbursement of actual inbound transportation and other required expenses;

(2) The workers' outbound transportation and other required expenses;

(3) Payment to the workers of the amount due under the three-fourths guarantee; and

(4) Any other wages, benefits, and working conditions due or owing to the workers under this subpart.

[84 FR 12431, Apr. 1, 2019, as amended at 85 FR 13029, Mar. 6, 2020; 85 FR 30615, May 20, 2020]

§655.473   Debarment.

(a) Debarment of an employer, agent, or attorney. The OFLC Administrator may debar an employer, agent, attorney, or any successor in interest to that employer, agent, or attorney, from participating in any action under this subpart, subject to the time limits set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, if the OFLC Administrator finds that the employer, agent, or attorney substantially violated a material term or condition of the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination or CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification, as defined in paragraph (d) of this section. The OFLC Administrator will provide copies of final debarment decisions to DHS and DOS promptly.

(b) Effect on future applications in all foreign labor programs. The debarred employer, or a debarred agent or attorney, or any successor in interest to any debarred employer, agent, or attorney, will be disqualified from filing any labor certification applications or labor condition applications with the Department subject to the term limits set forth in paragraph (c) of this section. If such an application is filed, it will be denied without review.

(c) Period of debarment. No employer, agent, or attorney may be debarred under this subpart for more than 5 years for a single violation.

(d) Definition of violation. For the purposes of this section, a violation of a material term or condition of the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination or CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification includes:

(1) One or more acts of commission or omission on the part of the employer or the employer's agent or attorney that involve:

(i) Failure to pay or provide the required wages, benefits, or working conditions to the employer's CW-1 workers or workers in corresponding employment;

(ii) Failure, except for lawful, job-related reasons, to offer employment to qualified U.S. workers who applied for the job opportunity for which certification was sought;

(iii) Failure to comply with the employer's obligations to recruit U.S. workers;

(iv) Improper layoff or displacement of U.S. workers or workers in corresponding employment;

(v) Failure to comply with the NOD process, as set forth in §655.431, or the assisted recruitment process, as set forth in §655.471;

(vi) Impeding the audit process, as set forth in §655.470, or impeding any Federal Government Official performing an investigation, inspection, audit, or law enforcement function;

(vii) Employing a CW-1 worker outside of the Commonwealth, in an activity not listed in the work contract, or outside the validity period of employment of the work contract, including any approved extension thereof;

(viii) A violation of the requirements of §655.423(n) or (o);

(ix) A violation of any of the provisions listed in §655.423(q); or

(x) Any other act showing such flagrant disregard for the law that future compliance with program requirements cannot reasonably be expected;

(2) Fraud involving the Application for Prevailing Wage Determination or the CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification under this subpart; or

(3) A material misrepresentation of fact during the course of processing the CW-1 Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

(e) Determining whether a violation is substantial. In determining whether a violation is substantial as to merit debarment, the factors the OFLC Administrator may consider include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) Previous history of violation(s) under the CW-1 program;

(2) The number of CW-1 workers, workers in corresponding employment, or U.S. workers who were or are affected by the violation(s);

(3) The gravity of the violation(s); or

(4) The extent to which the violator achieved a financial gain due to the violation(s), or the potential financial loss or potential injury to the worker(s).

(f) Debarment procedure—(1) Notice of Debarment. If the OFLC Administrator makes a determination to debar an employer, agent, attorney, or any successor in interest to that employer, agent, or attorney, the OFLC Administrator will issue the party a Notice of Debarment. The notice will state the reason(s) for the debarment finding, including a detailed explanation of the grounds for and the duration of the debarment, and it will inform the party subject to the notice of its right to submit rebuttal evidence to the OFLC Administrator, or to request administrative review of the decision by BALCA. If the party does not file rebuttal evidence or a request for review within 30 calendar days of the date of the Notice of Debarment, the notice is the final agency action and the debarment will take effect on the date specified in the notice or if no date is specified, at the end of 30 calendar days The timely filing of rebuttal evidence or a request for review stays the debarment pending the outcome of the appeal as provided in paragraphs (f)(2) through (6) of this section.

(2) Rebuttal. The party who received the Notice of Debarment may choose to submit evidence to rebut the grounds stated in the notice within 30 calendar days of the date the notice is issued. If rebuttal evidence is timely filed, the OFLC Administrator will issue a Final Determination on the debarment within 30 calendar days of receiving the rebuttal evidence. If the OFLC Administrator determines that the party must be debarred, the OFLC Administrator will issue a Final Determination and inform the party of its right to request administrative review of the debarment by BALCA according to the procedures in this section. The party must request review within 30 calendar days after the date of the Final Determination, or the Final Determination will be the final agency order and the debarment will take effect on the date specified in the Final Determination or if no date is specified, at the end of 30 calendar days.

(3) Request for review. (i) The recipient of a Notice of Debarment or Final Determination seeking to challenge the debarment must request review of the debarment within 30 calendar days of the date of the Notice of Debarment or the date of the Final Determination by the OFLC Administrator after review of rebuttal evidence submitted under paragraph (f)(2) of this section. A request for review of debarment must be sent in writing to the Chief ALJ, United States Department of Labor, with a simultaneous copy served on the OFLC Administrator; the request must clearly identify the particular debarment determination for which review is sought; and must set forth the particular grounds for the request. If no timely request for review is filed, the debarment will take effect on the date specified in the Notice of Debarment or Final Determination, or if no date is specified, 30 calendar days from the date the Notice of Debarment or Final Determination is issued.

(ii) Upon receipt of a request for review, the OFLC Administrator will promptly send a certified copy of the ETA case file to the Chief ALJ by means normally assuring expedited delivery. The Chief ALJ will immediately assign an ALJ to conduct the review.

(iii) Statements, briefs, and other submissions of the parties must contain only legal argument and only such evidence that was within the record upon which the debarment was based, including any rebuttal evidence submitted pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section.

(4) Review by the ALJ. (i) In considering requests for review, the ALJ must afford all parties 30 days to submit or decline to submit any appropriate Statement of Position or legal brief. The ALJ must review the debarment determination on the basis of the record upon which the decision was made, the request for review, and any Statements of Position or legal briefs submitted.

(ii) The ALJ's final decision must affirm, reverse, or modify the OFLC Administrator's determination. The ALJ's decision will be provided to the parties by expedited mail. The ALJ's decision is the final agency action, unless either party, within 30 calendar days of the ALJ's decision, seeks review of the decision with the Administrative Review Board (ARB).

(5) Review by the ARB. (i) Any party wishing review of the decision of an ALJ must, within 30 calendar days of the decision of the ALJ, petition the ARB to review the decision. Copies of the petition must be served on all parties and on the ALJ. The ARB will decide whether to accept the petition within 30 calendar days of receipt. If the ARB declines to accept the petition, or if the ARB does not issue a notice accepting a petition within 30 calendar days after the receipt of a timely filing of the petition, the decision of the ALJ is the final agency action. If a petition for review is accepted, the decision of the ALJ will be stayed unless and until the ARB issues an order affirming the decision. The ARB must serve notice of its decision to accept or not to accept the petition upon the ALJ and upon all parties to the proceeding.

(ii) Upon receipt of the ARB's notice to accept the petition, the Office of Administrative Law Judges will promptly forward a copy of the complete appeal record to the ARB.

(iii) Where the ARB has determined to review the decision and order, the ARB will notify each party of the issue(s) raised, the form in which submissions must be made (e.g., briefs or oral argument), and the time within which the presentation must be submitted.

(6) ARB decision. The ARB's decision must be issued within 90 calendar days from the notice granting the petition and served upon all parties and the ALJ.

[84 FR 12431, Apr. 1, 2019, as amended at 85 FR 13029, Mar. 6, 2020; 85 FR 30615, May 20, 2020]

§§655.474-655.499   [Reserved]

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