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

Title 20Chapter VPart 655Subpart A → Subject Group


Title 20: Employees' Benefits
PART 655—TEMPORARY EMPLOYMENT OF FOREIGN WORKERS IN THE UNITED STATES
Subpart A—Labor Certification Process for Temporary Non-Agricultural Employment in the United States (H-2B Workers)


Labor Certification Determinations

§655.50   Determinations.

(a) Certifying Officers (COs). The Administrator, OFLC is the Department's National CO. The Administrator, OFLC and the CO(s), by virtue of delegation from the Administrator, OFLC, have the authority to certify or deny Applications for Temporary Employment Certification under the H-2B nonimmigrant classification. If the Administrator, OFLC directs that certain types of temporary labor certification applications or a specific Application for Temporary Employment Certification under the H-2B nonimmigrant classification be handled by the OFLC's National Office, the Director of the NPC will refer such applications to the Administrator, OFLC.

(b) Determination. Except as otherwise provided in this paragraph (b), the CO will make a determination either to certify or deny the Application for Temporary Employment Certification. The CO will certify the application only if the employer has met all the requirements of this subpart, including the criteria for certification in §655.51, thus demonstrating that there is an insufficient number of U.S. workers who are qualified and who will be available for the job opportunity for which certification is sought and that the employment of the H-2B workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed U.S. workers.

§655.51   Criteria for certification.

(a) The criteria for certification include whether the employer has a valid H-2B Registration to participate in the H-2B program and has complied with all of the requirements necessary to grant the labor certification.

(b) In making a determination whether there are insufficient U.S. workers to fill the employer's job opportunity, the CO will count as available any U.S. worker referred by the SWA or any U.S. worker who applied (or on whose behalf an application is made) directly to the employer, but who was rejected by the employer for other than a lawful job-related reason.

(c) A certification will not be granted to an employer that has failed to comply with one or more sanctions or remedies imposed by final agency actions under the H-2B program.

§655.52   Approved certification.

If a temporary labor certification is granted, the CO will send the approved Application for Temporary Employment Certification and a Final Determination letter to the employer by means normally assuring next day delivery, including electronic mail, and a copy, if applicable, to the employer's attorney or agent. If the Application for Temporary Employment Certification is electronically filed, the employer must sign the certified Application for Temporary Employment Certification as directed by the CO. The employer must retain a signed copy of the Application for Temporary Employment Certification and the original signed Appendix B of the Application, as required by §655.56.

§655.53   Denied certification.

If a temporary labor certification is denied, the CO will send the Final Determination letter to the employer by means normally assuring next day delivery, including electronic mail, and a copy, if applicable, to the employer's attorney or agent. The Final Determination letter will:

(a) State the reason(s) certification is denied, citing the relevant regulatory standards;

(b) Offer the employer an opportunity to request administrative review of the denial under §655.61; and

(c) State that if the employer does not request administrative review in accordance with §655.61, the denial is final and the Department of Labor will not accept any appeal on that Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

§655.54   Partial certification.

The CO may issue a partial certification, reducing either the period of need or the number of H-2B workers or both for certification, based upon information the CO receives during the course of processing the Application for Temporary Employment Certification. The number of workers certified will be reduced by one for each U.S. worker who is qualified and who will be available at the time and place needed to perform the services or labor and who has not been rejected for lawful job-related reasons. If a partial labor certification is issued, the CO will amend the Application for Temporary Employment Certification and then return it to the employer with a Final Determination letter, with a copy to the employer's attorney or agent, if applicable. The Final Determination letter will:

(a) State the reason(s) why either the period of need and/or the number of H-2B workers requested has been reduced, citing the relevant regulatory standards;

(b) If applicable, address the availability of U.S. workers in the occupation;

(c) Offer the employer an opportunity to request administrative review of the partial certification under §655.61; and

(d) State that if the employer does not request administrative review in accordance with §655.61, the partial certification is final and the Department of Labor will not accept any appeal on that Application for Temporary Employment Certification.

§655.55   Validity of temporary labor certification.

(a) Validity period. A temporary labor certification is valid only for the period as approved on the Application for Temporary Employment Certification. The certification expires on the last day of authorized employment.

(b) Scope of validity. A temporary labor certification is valid only for the number of H-2B positions, the area of intended employment, the job classification and specific services or labor to be performed, and the employer specified on the approved Application for Temporary Employment Certification, including any approved modifications. The temporary labor certification may not be transferred from one employer to another unless the employer to which it is transferred is a successor in interest to the employer to which it was issued.

§655.56   Document retention requirements of H-2B employers.

(a) Entities required to retain documents. All employers filing an Application for Temporary Employment Certification requesting H-2B workers are required to retain the documents and records proving compliance with 29 CFR part 503 and this subpart, including but not limited to those specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) Period of required retention. The employer must retain records and documents for 3 years from the date of certification of the Application for Temporary Employment Certification, or from the date of adjudication if the Application for Temporary Employment Certification is denied, or 3 years from the day the Department of Labor receives the letter of withdrawal provided in accordance with §655.62. For the purposes of this section, records and documents required to be retained in connection with an H-2B Registration must be retained in connection with all of the Applications for Temporary Employment Certification that are supported by it.

(c) Documents and records to be retained by all employer applicants. All employers filing an H-2B Registration and an Application for Temporary Employment Certification must retain the following documents and records and must provide the documents and records to the Department of Labor and other Federal agencies in the event of an audit or investigation:

(1) Documents and records not previously submitted during the registration process that substantiate temporary need;

(2) Proof of recruitment efforts, as applicable, including:

(i) Job order placement as specified in §655.16;

(ii) Contact with former U.S. workers as specified in §655.43;

(iii) Contact with bargaining representative(s), or a copy of the posting of the job opportunity, if applicable, as specified in §655.45(a) or (b); and

(iv) Additional employer-conducted recruitment efforts as specified in §655.46;

(3) Substantiation of the information submitted in the recruitment report prepared in accordance with §655.48, such as evidence of nonapplicability of contact with former workers as specified in §655.43;

(4) The final recruitment report and any supporting resumes and contact information as specified in §655.48;

(5) Records of each worker's earnings, hours offered and worked, location(s) of work performed, and other information as specified in §655.20(i);

(6) If appropriate, records of reimbursement of transportation and subsistence costs incurred by the workers, as specified in §655.20(j).

(7) Evidence of contact with U.S. workers who applied for the job opportunity in the Application for Temporary Employment Certification, including documents demonstrating that any rejections of U.S. workers were for lawful, job-related reasons, as specified in §655.20(r);

(8) Evidence of contact with any former U.S. worker in the occupation at the place of employment in the Application for Temporary Employment Certification, including documents demonstrating that the U.S. worker had been offered the job opportunity in the Application for Temporary Employment Certification, as specified in §655.20(w), and that the U.S. worker either refused the job opportunity or was rejected only for lawful, job-related reasons, as specified in §655.20(r);

(9) The written contracts with agents or recruiters as specified in §§655.8 and 655.9, and the list of the identities and locations of persons hired by or working for the agent or recruiter and these entities' agents or employees, as specified in §655.9;

(10) Written notice provided to and informing OFLC that an H-2B worker or worker in corresponding employment has separated from employment before the end date of employment specified in the Application for Temporary Employment Certification, as specified in §655.20(y);

(11) The H-2B Registration, job order and a copy of the Application for Temporary Employment Certification and the original signed Appendix B of the Application. If the Application for Temporary Employment Certification and H-2B Registration is electronically filed, a printed copy of each adjudicated Application for Temporary Employment Certification, including any modifications, amendments or extensions must be signed by the employer as directed by the CO and retained;

(12) The H-2B Petition, including all accompanying documents; and

(13) Any collective bargaining agreement(s), individual employment contract(s), or payroll records from the previous year necessary to substantiate any claim that certain incumbent workers are not included in corresponding employment, as specified in §655.5.

(d) Availability of documents for enforcement purposes. An employer must make available to the Administrator, WHD within 72 hours following a request by the WHD the documents and records required under 29 CFR part 503 and this section so that the Administrator, WHD may copy, transcribe, or inspect them.

[42 FR 45899, Sept. 13, 1977, as amended at 84 FR 62446, Nov. 15, 2019]

§655.57   Request for determination based on nonavailability of U.S. workers.

(a) Standards for requests. If a temporary labor certification has been partially granted or denied, based on the CO's determination that qualified U.S. workers are available, and, on or after 21 calendar days before the date of need, some or all of those qualified U.S. workers are, in fact no longer available, the employer may request a new temporary labor certification determination from the CO. Prior to making a new determination the CO will promptly ascertain (which may be through the SWA or other sources of information on U.S. worker availability) whether specific qualified replacement U.S. workers are available or can be reasonably expected to be present at the employer's establishment within 72 hours from the date the employer's request was received. The CO will expeditiously, but in no case later than 72 hours after the time a complete request (including the signed statement included in paragraph (b) of this section) is received, make a determination on the request. An employer may appeal a denial of such a determination in accordance with procedures contained in §655.61.

(b) Unavailability of U.S. workers. The employer's request for a new determination must be made directly to the CO by electronic mail or other appropriate means and must be accompanied by a signed statement confirming the employer's assertion. In addition, unless the employer has provided to the CO notification of abandonment or termination of employment as required by §655.20(y), the employer's signed statement must include the name and contact information of each U.S. worker who became unavailable and must supply the reason why the worker has become unavailable.

(c) Notification of determination. If the CO determines that U.S. workers have become unavailable and cannot identify sufficient available U.S. workers who are qualified or who are likely to become available, the CO will grant the employer's request for a new determination. However, this does not preclude an employer from submitting subsequent requests for new determinations, if warranted, based on subsequent facts concerning purported nonavailability of U.S. workers or referred workers not being qualified because of lawful job-related reasons.

§§655.58-655.59   [Reserved]

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