Employers Should Always Prepare for PERM Audits

The Department of Labor (DOL) has been auditing the process for submitting Labor Certifications, called Program Electronic Review Management (PERM). Of a reported more than 20,000 PERM petitions filed since October of last year, approximately 29 percent were chosen at random by the DOL for audit, and some 50 percent of the audited petitions were denied after review by the DOL. The DOL says that it plans to continue the auditing system, looking at 30 percent of petitions pulled at random, as part of a quality and integrity initiative.

As part of the PERM petition, the sponsoring employer completes the recruitment information via an online system and is not required to provide supporting documentation proving that they ran recruitment postings or reviewed applications. The concern by the DOL is that some petitioners may be filing PERM petitions without conducting actual posting and recruitment as required. The DOL has started randomly pulling PERM petitions to audit in an effort to deter and catch potential fraud. Once in audit, the petitioning employer must respond within 30 days, submitting posting and recruitment documents and other documentation as requested by the DOL. A petitioning employer’s failure to respond to an audit means the denial of the petition, as well as disbarment of the employer’s eligibility by DOL for future PERM petitions.

By the end of 2011, DOL audit notices began requesting both standard evidence for postings and recruitment efforts, the resumes from all of the U.S. workers who applied, the employer’s stated reason for rejecting those applications and any records maintained which show the employer’s efforts to contact the applicants. Minor clerical errors, including missed information, incomplete evidence and even typos, may result in a denial of the PERM petition. The PERM petition may also be denied if it is found that an employer did not contact U.S. workers within a certain time frame, rejected an applicant who was deemed qualified or interviewed a qualified applicant and dismissed him without detailing the reasons why.

Employers are advised to prepare any and all PERM petitions with the assumption that it will be audited, adhering to the following guidelines:

  • Advertising, description and posting should all be carefully reviewed to be certain they comply with Department of Labor guidelines and PERM regulations.
  • Stay within strict time frames for screening and interviewing and carefully document reasons for rejection.

The PERM labor certification process is complicated and exacting, and it is wise to work with an experienced attorney to meet all guidelines.

A. Banerjee is a Houston immigration lawyer in Texas. Before selecting an immigration lawyer in Houston Texas, contact the Law Offices of Annie Banerjee by visiting their information filled web site at http://www.visatous.com.