In a press release dated June 2, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its intention to audit all permanent labor certification cases filed by attorneys at Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP. The audit is based on the DOL’s concern that Fragomen attorneys improperly instructed clients who filed permanent labor certification applications to contact their attorney before hiring apparently qualified U.S. workers. DOL regulations prohibit an employer’s immigration attorney or agent from participating in considering the qualifications of U.S. workers who apply for positions for which certification is sought, unless the attorney is normally involved in the employer’s routine hiring process. The DOL’s proposed audit was immediately contested as improper by the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). The DOL subsequently released a Program Guidance Bulletin on June 13 providing much needed clarification on what it believes the proper role of the attorney is in the labor certification process.
Note: This article was published in the June 2008 issue of the Immigration eAuthority.