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PERM (Labor Certification)


THE ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY IN THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS
jae wook LEE  (Homepage)
2016-06-26 19:36:12, 조회 : 341, 추천 : 88
THE ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY IN THE RECRUITMENT PROCESS

While the rules
        a) pertaining to the proper role
                i) of immigration attorneys
                ii) in the recruitment stage
                        A) of PERM

    are more settled
        a) than the topics described above,

1) it is worthwhile
        a) to review the challenging ethical considerations
                i) arising
                        A) when representing employers
                                I) in labor certification matters,
                ii) particularly with respect to the evaluation
                        A) of U.S. worker applicants
                        B) during PERM recruitment.

The Department of Labor’s
        a) regulations, 25
        b) FAQs, 26 and
        c) BALCA case law 27

1) all suggest inherent suspicion
        a) toward attorney involvement
                i) in PERM.

However,

given that PERM is
        a) an exacting process and
        b) unforgiving of mistakes,

1) employers reasonably look to counsel
        a) to navigate the PERM process and
        b) comply with its requirements.


ex·act·ing
iɡˈzaktiNG/
adjective
making great demands on one's skill, attention, or other resources.
"living up to such exacting standards"
synonyms:        demanding, stringent, testing, challenging, onerous, arduous, laborious, taxing, grueling, punishing, hard, tough More

ex·act·ing  (ĭg-zăk′tĭng)
adj.
1. Making severe demands; rigorous: an exacting instructor.
2. Requiring great care, effort, or attention: an exacting task.
ex·act′ing·ly adv.
ex·act′ing·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
exacting (ɪɡˈzæktɪŋ)
adj
making rigorous or excessive demands: an exacting job.
exˈactingly adv
exˈactingness n
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ex•act•ing (ɪgˈzæk tɪŋ)

adj.
1. rigid or severe in demands or requirements: an exacting teacher.
2. requiring close application or attention: an exacting task.
3. given to or characterized by exaction; extortionate.
[1575–85]


The following is a summary
        a) of current
                i) guidance and
                ii) practice pointers
                        A) on the permissible role of attorneys
                                I) in PERM.

DOL regulations clearly recognize the employer’s right
        a) to counsel
        b) “throughout the labor certification process.” 28

In its most recent guidance
        a) on the subject,

DOL indicated that
        a) it
                i) appreciates the legitimate role
                        A) attorneys and agents play
                                I) in the PERM process and
                ii) respects “the right of employers
                        A) to consult with their attorney(s) or agent(s)
                                I) during that process
                                II) to ensure that
                                        (a) they are complying
                                                (i) with all applicable legal requirements.”29

Nevertheless,

there is a limit
        a) on the type of assistance
                i) attorneys may offer.

In particular,

DOL regulations restrict the scope
        a) of permissible activities
                i) for attorneys
        b) in the context of PERM recruitment.

The regulations
        a) observe that
                i) attorney involvement in
                        A) the interviewing or
                        B) consideration
                                I) of U.S. worker applicants

                    is contrary to the best interests
                        A) of U.S. workers, and
        b) specifically prohibit the foreign national’s attorney
                i) from
                        A) interviewing or
                        B) considering
                                I) U.S. workers
                                        (a) for the job offered.30


Though the regulations do not expressly prohibit an employer’s attorney
        a) from interviewing or considering U.S. worker applicants
                i) during PERM recruitment,

1) DOL’s guidance
        a) on the topic

1) clarifies that,
        a) with the exception
                i) of the rare scenario
                        A) in which an employer’s attorney is the person
                                I) who
                                        (a) typically

                                    interviews or considers applicants
                                        (a) for job opportunities,
        b) attorneys
                i) representing either
                        A) employers or
                        B) foreign nationals

           should not participate in
                i) interviewing or
                ii) considering
                        A) U.S. worker applicants
                        B) during PERM recruitment.31






than those listed on the employer’s ETA 9089, the employer was justified in rejecting the laid-off U.S. worker on the grounds that the worker lacked the requisite experience and skill based on the face of the worker’s resume and the requirements of ETA 9089). For additional guidance on proper notification and consideration of laid-off U.S. workers for PERM applications, practitioners should review the new FAQs, published on DOL’s website in February 2014.
25 20 C.F.R. §§ 656 et. seq.
26 See OFLC Frequently Asked Questions and Answers on the PERM Program (updated Jan. 16, 2015), available at
www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/faqsanswers.cfm.
27 BALCA decisions concerning labor certification are available at http://www.oalj.dol.gov/libina.htm.
28 20 CFR §656.10(b)(1) (emphasis added).
29 “Restatement of PERM Program Guidance Bulletin on the Clarification of Scope and Consideration Rule in 20 CFR §656.10(b)(2)” (Aug. 29, 2008), AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 08110666, also available at www.foreignlaborcert.doleta.gov/pdf/PERM_Guidance_Final_082908.pdf.
30 20 CFR §656.10(b)(2)(i) and (ii) states: “It is contrary to the best interests of U.S. workers to have the alien and/or agents or attorneys for either the employer or the alien participate in interviewing or considering U.S. workers for the job offered the alien. As the beneficiary of a labor certification application, the alien can not represent the best
interests of U.S. workers in the job opportunity. The alien's agent and/or attorney can not represent the alien
effectively and at the same time truly be seeking U.S. workers for the job opportunity. Therefore, the alien and/or the alien's agent and/or attorney may not interview or consider U.S. workers for the job offered to the alien, unless the agent and/or attorney is the employer's representative, as described in paragraph (b)(2)(ii) of this section. The employer's representative who interviews or considers U.S. workers for the job offered to the alien must be the person who normally interviews or considers, on behalf of the employer, applicants for job opportunities such as that offered the alien, but which do not involve labor certifications.”




The ban
        a) on attorney participation
                i) in interviewing U.S. worker applicants,
                        A) including
                                I) contacting and
                                II) inviting
                                        (a) applicants
                                                (i) to interviews,

1) is longstanding 32 and generally accepted.

It is the prohibition
        a) against attorney participation
                i) in the applicant review process
        b) that has only become clearer
                i) in recent years,
                ii) with the DOL ultimately retreating from interpretations
                        A) that arguably violated employers’ right to counsel.

In June 2008,

DOL
        a) announced
                i) as official policy
                ii) that it had the authority
                        A) to “specifically prohibit an employer’s immigration attorney or agent
                                I) from participating in considering the qualifications
                                        I(a of U.S. workers,” and
        b) further provided
                i) that “there is no legitimate reason
                        A) to consult with immigration attorneys
                                I) before hiring apparently qualified U.S. workers.”33

In essence,

DOL’s initial position implied that
        a) employers had no right
                i) to consult with counsel
        b) when considering U.S. worker applicants
                i) in PERM recruitment.34

This statement was followed
        a) by an evolving series of guidance memos
                i) restricting lawyers’ ability
                        A) to advise clients
                                I) during PERM recruitment.35

The DOL’s statement generated immediate and widespread criticism
        a) in the immigration law community.

In response,

DOL
        a) revised its previous guidance and
        b) published a final guidance memo
                i) on August 29, 2008,
                ii) recognizing employers’ right to counsel
                        A) during PERM recruitment and
                iii) providing the following discussion:

        By prohibiting attorneys, agents, and foreign workers
                i) from interviewing and considering U.S. workers
                        A) during the permanent labor certification process,
                ii) as described in 20 C.F.R. § 656.10 (b)(2)(i) and (ii),

        1) the Department does not thereby prohibit attorneys and agents
                i) from performing the analyses
                        A) necessary to counsel their clients
                                I) on legal questions
                                        (a) that may arise
                                                (i) with respect to this process.

        The employer,
                i) and not the attorney or agent,

        1) must be the first
                i) to review an application for employment, and
        2) must determine
                i) whether a U.S. applicant’s qualifications meet the minimum requirements
                        A) for the position,
        3) unless the attorney or agent is the representative
                i) of the employer
                ii) who
                        A) routinely
                        B) performs this function
                                I) for positions
                                        (a) for which labor certifications are not filed.

        By requiring that
                i) initial reviews of and
                ii) final determinations on
                        A) all applications

                    are made
                        A) by the employer,

        1) the Department seeks to ensure that
                i) the consideration process is as close
                        A) to the employer’s non-immigration-related hiring process
                        B) as possible and
                ii) that U.S. workers receive full and fair consideration
                        A) by the employer
                        B) for the job.

        Attorneys
                i) (and, to the extent
                        A) it is consistent with state rules
                                I) governing the practice of law,
                        B) agents)

        1) may, however, provide advice
                i) throughout the consideration process
                ii) on any and all legal questions
                        A) concerning compliance with governing
                                I) statutes,
                                II) regulations, and
                                III) policies.36




31 Id.
32 See e.g. Matter of Sharon Lim Lau, 90-INA-103 (BALCA 1992); Matter of K&S Sportswear, 91-INA-52 (BALCA 1992); Matter of Alsuna’s Caribbean American Café, 96-INA-0268 (BALCA 1999).
33 Id.
34 See “PERMutations: The Department of Labor's Evolving Perspective on the Role of Attorneys in the Labor Certification Process,” Immigration & Nationality Law Handbook (AILA 2008–09 Ed).
35 On June 4, 2008, DOL issued an “Information Paper” containing FAQs clarifying that although attorneys may provide “general advice” to employers about the meaning of the term “qualified” under the regulations, they were prohibited from providing from providing this advice in the context of an applicant’s qualifications. On June 13, 2008, the DOL issued "PERM Program Guidance Bulletin on the Clarification of Scope of Consideration Rule in 20 CFR §656.10(b)(2).” This “guidance” effectively eliminated employer’s ability to consult with counsel about whether a PERM application may continue after making a preliminary evaluation that an applicant may be qualified. These documents no longer exist on DOL’s website, but may be found in AILA’s The David Stanton Manual on Labor Certification, Fourth Edition (AILA 2008), at 774 and 776–77.


The practical implication
        a) of this guidance

1) is
        a) that counsel may advise employers
                i) during applicant review
                ii) to help them comply with the regulations,
        b) but the employer must be the first
                i) to review a U.S. worker applicant’s resume.

Now,

nearly seven years later,

the law
        a) on attorney involvement in PERM recruitment

1) appears well settled and
2) has not been the source
        a) of significant
                i) audits or
                ii) PERM denials.

Given the plethora
        a) of articles and advisories
                i) written on this topic,

1) immigration practitioners appear
        a) to have developed a set of industry best practices
                i) to avoid impermissible attorney involvement
                        A) in PERM recruitment.37

Specifically,

DOL guidance and best practices indicate that
        a) attorneys may conduct the following activities:

        a.         i) Receive resumes and         
                ii) organize resumes
                        A) for review by the employer
                        B) without making qualitative comments
                                I) on them or
                        C) withholding any resumes
                                I) received.
        b. Advise employers
                i) regarding the implications
                        A) of locating a qualified U.S. worker applicant.
        c. Counsel employers
        
                1) when they have questions
                        A) about whether an applicant is unqualified.
        d. Provide advice
                i) to employers
                ii) during the applicant review process
                iii) to ensure
                        A) they are complying with all applicable legal requirements.
        e. Advise on
                i) the best methods
                        A) for contacting for contacting applicants and
                ii) appropriate timeframes
                        A) for
                                I) reviewing applications and
                                II) contacting applicants
                                        (a) for interviews.
        f. Assist employers
                i) in understanding
                        A) what bases
                                I) for rejection

                           constitute lawful job-related reasons.
        g.         i) Advise that
                        A) only “U.S. workers” need to be considered for the position, and
                ii) help employers
                        A) understand
                                I) how to ascertain
                                        (a) whether an applicant is a “U.S. worker.”
        h. Provide employers
                i) with blank
                        A) interview checklists,
                        B) charts, or
                        C) documents
                                I) listing the positions’ minimum requirements
                                        (a) for the position,
                ii) to help employers ascertain
                        A) whether applicants are qualified.
        i. Advise employers
                i) that they are not legally required
                        A) to hire any qualified U.S. worker
                                I) located
                                        (a) through labor certification recruitment,
                ii) but that they cannot file a PERM application
                        A) based on that recruitment.
        j. Advise employers
                i) on whether the employer’s determinations
                        A) as to whether the candidates failed
                                I) to meet the minimum requirements

                   are legally
                        A) sound and
                        B) defensible
                                I) in the event of an audit.




36 See supra, note 5 (emphasis added).
37 See supra, note 9.





However,

attorneys must not engage
        a) in the following activities:

        a. Participate in the interviewing
                i) of U.S. worker applicants.38
        b.         i) Pre-screen or
                ii) make initial qualitative comments
                        A) on applicant resumes.
        c. Dissuade an employer
                i) from an initial determination
                        A) that a particular U.S. worker is
                                I) minimally
                                II) qualified, able, willing and available for the position.

CONCLUSION

The key attributes         
        a) of the gifts
                i) recommended for a tenth wedding anniversary
                ii) (tin and aluminum)39


1) are their durability and flexibility.

At PERM’s tenth anniversary,

it is increasingly apparent that
        a) PERM’s durability will be shaped
                i) by its flexibility
                        A) in adapting to the legitimate
                                I) processes and
                                II) needs
                                        (a) of the stakeholder community.

In the recruitment stage
        a) of PERM,

1) this requires
        a) recognition
                i) of real world recruitment procedures and
        b) the primacy of good faith efforts
                i) over minor technical deficiencies.

Reaching this goal will require,
        a) as is the case with successful marriages,
        b) open communication and
        c) recognition of a shared vision
                i) by all parties.








38 An exception to this rule applies where the attorney or agent is the representative of the employer who routinely performs this function for positions for which labor certifications are not filed.
39 See http://www.weddingtips.com/annv.html



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