MESA - Middle East Studies Association

Dept. of Labor Hiring Changes

September 8 Inside Higher Ed
U.S.: Online Ads Meet Requirement for Hiring Foreign Profs

The U.S. Department of Labor now says that online advertisements in professional publications can be used by colleges and universities as part of the process of obtaining federal approval to offer positions to foreign academics. To win authorization for such hires, colleges need to demonstrate that they made a good faith effort to identify American candidates. For years, the Department of Labor demanded that institutions use a print ad to do so–even as most job advertising in recent years has shifted online. But last month, an appeals board of the department ruled–in a challenge by the University of Texas at Brownsville–that there was no legitimate reason to demand a print ad instead of an online ad. And now the Labor Department has adjusted its guidance generally, not just in the Brownsville case.

Full disclosure: Inside Higher Ed stands to gain from the Labor Department's shift. Some colleges to date have purchased more expensive print ads elsewhere solely because of the now defunct Labor Department rule. In fact, the successful challenge by the University of Texas at Brownsville was over the right to be certified for foreign hiring on the basis of an ad on Inside Higher Ed.

or  http://www.nafsa.org/resourcelibrary/default.aspx?id=28550

 
August 31, 2011
DOL Changes Policy to Allow Electronic Ads in Special Handling PERM Cases

Department of Labor PERM FAQs [PERM FAQs, College and University Teachers - Recruitment, FAQ 6] now allow use of an electronic or Web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment under 20 CFR 656.18 (PERM cases filed under "special handling" provisions for college and university teachers), but only under the following specific conditions:

  • The electronic or web-based journal's job listings must be viewable to the public without payment of subscription and/or membership charges
  • The advertisement for the job opportunity for which certification is sought must be posted for at least 30 calendar days on the journal's website
  • Documentation of the placement of an advertisement in an electronic or web-based national professional journal must include evidence of the start and end dates of the advertisement placement and the text of the advertisement.

For years, DOL guidance had been that to satisfy the requirements of 20 CFR 656.18, an ad "must be placed in a national print professional journal." DOL changed its PERM FAQs on August 31, 2011 (albeit with the key restrictions listed above), in response to a July 20, 2011 BALCA decision [Matter of The University of Texas at Brownsville, 210-PER-00887 (BALCA, July 20, 2011)]. In that case, BALCA found that, unlike the standard labor certification provision at 20 CFR 656.17, the language in the special handling provision for college and university teachers at 20 CFR 656.18 does not limit advertisements to print publications. BALCA therefore held that that the DOL policy requiring ads be placed only in print publications for such cases “imposes a substantive requirement on employers that is not supported by the PERM regulations.”

The FAQ reads:

6. Is the employer permitted to use an electronic or web-based national professional journal instead of a print journal when conducting recruitment under 20 CFR 656.18, Optional special recruitment and documentation procedures for college and university teachers?

Yes, an employer may use an electronic or web-based national professional journal to satisfy the provision found at 20 CFR 656.18(b)(3), which requires use of a national professional journal for advertisements for college or university teachers. The electronic or web-based journal's job listings must be viewable to the public without payment of subscription and/or membership charges. The advertisement for the job opportunity for which certification is sought must be posted for at least 30 calendar days on the journal's website. Documentation of the placement of an advertisement in an electronic or web-based national professional journal must include evidence of the start and end dates of the advertisement placement and the text of the advertisement.



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