29 Jul

MSHA announces results of June impact inspections




ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration today announced that federal inspectors issued 186 citations, 25 orders and one safeguard during special impact inspections conducted at 11 coal mines and two metal and nonmetal mines in June.

The monthly inspections, which began in force in April 2010 following the explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine, involve mines that merit increased agency attention and enforcement due to their poor compliance history or particular compliance concerns. The inspection details of one of the mines are listed below:

MSHA began an impact inspection at Dickenson-Russell Coal Co., LLC’s Cherokee Mine in Dickenson County, Virginia, on June 10. A member of the enforcement team traveled to the mine ahead of the inspection team and secured the mine’s communication systems to prevent advance notice. The inspection of underground belts and equipment and surface equipment and installations resulted in the issuance of 25 104(a) citations and five 104(d)(1) unwarrantable failure orders. This was the first impact inspection at this mine.

Among the conditions found were the accumulation of combustible materials in the form of black and dry float coal dust along one of the mine’s belts. The float coal dust had accumulated on areas of the belt structure including rails, chains, tail piece, ribs, head drive electrical cable and guards. A buildup of coal dust places miners at serious risk to explosions.

MSHA issued an unwarrantable failure order for insufficient air velocity on the belt air course. Using an anemometer, an instrument that measures the volume of air entering and exiting a mine, inspectors detected no air movement in the belt entry. The lack of such movement can lead to the buildup of dangerous gases in the air and a potential mine explosion. Enforcement personnel issued another order when the mine allowed diesel equipment to operate in an entry with no air movement.

Furthermore, a roof -bolting machine had not been properly examined, tested and maintained. Numerous hazardous conditions were observed even though the examination records dated three days prior indicated no detection of hazards. Mechanical fasteners were missing, bare ground wires were exposed, and cables were not insulated properly and fully protected. One 104(d)(1) order was issued for an inadequate pre-shift examination along four belts where the examiner failed to record and post the hazardous conditions found, such as float coal dust, draw rock, belts rubbing against the structure and bottom hangers, and inadequate ventilation.

In a June 24 impact inspection at Rhino Eastern LLC’s Eagle Mine 3 in Wyoming County, West Virginia, MSHA found dozens of violations in which the mine operator failed to follow approved ventilation, methane and dust control plans, which resulted in closure orders.

“Conditions found at both Rhino and Cherokee that led to closure orders put miners at risk of explosions,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “The dust conditions at the Rhino mine also exposed miners to black lung disease. The new respirable dust regulations, which go into effect on Aug. 1, are aimed at curbing the disease and will address these type of operator shortfalls,” he said.

Since April 2010, MSHA has conducted 780 impact inspections and issued 12,627 citations, 1,170 orders and 54 safeguards.

29 Jul

Recycling Innovation ordered to pay $77,000 in unpaid wages, damages and penalties following US Department of Labor investigation



Court enjoins employer, cites retaliation against employees

LOS ANGELES — The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment from the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ordering Alkanan Inc., doing business in six locations as Recycling Innovation and Valley Recycling, and its owner Karim Ameri, to pay $77,000 to 13 workers in back wages, damages and penalties for failing to pay at least the federal minimum wage and overtime, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The court also entered an injunction restraining the employer from violating the FLSA in the future and retaliating against any employee who files a complaint with, or cooperates in an investigation by, the department’s Wage and Hour Division.

“Workplace intimidation, such as threatening to fire, deport or physically harm an employee who exercises his rights is completely unacceptable,” said Kimchi Bui, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Los Angeles. “The department will not tolerate such tactics and will use every legal tool available to protect workers and hold employers accountable.”

Investigators with the division’s Los Angeles District Office determined that Alkanan violated the FLSA’s overtime and minimum wage requirements at its locations in Northridge, Reseda, Winnetka and Van Nuys by only paying a daily cash rate between $55 and $65 for up to 10 hours of work per day, six or seven days per week, far below the federal minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour. The employer also retaliated against workers whom he believed provided information to the department’s investigators by threatening to fire and deport employees and use physical violence. Alkanan also failed to keep accurate and complete records of work hours.

The division first learned of this employer’s practices through the Employment Education and Outreach partnership, known asEMPLEO. Now in its 10th year, EMPLEO is an alliance of organizations and government agencies that assists Spanish-speaking workers and employers. EMPLEO’s toll-free helpline at 877-55-AYUDA (552-9832) is staffed by trained volunteers from the Diocese of San Bernardino, which refers callers to appropriate partners.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, as well as time and one-half their regular rates for every hour worked beyond 40 per week. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law. The FLSA provides that employers who violate the law are generally liable to employees for their back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, which are paid directly to the affected employees.

29 Jul

California construction contractor to pay $292,184 in overtime back wages following US Department of Labor investigation



WEST COVINA, Calif. — GM Sager Construction Inc. has agreed to pay $146,092 in overtime back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 26 workers after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found the Pomona, Calif.-based concrete and asphalt paving contractor in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime and record-keeping provisions. The employer also agreed to record all hours worked accurately, including travel time.

“Employers must record and pay for all hours of work,” said Daniel Pasquil, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s West Covina District Office. “This includes travel time between work sites. We urge all employers to review their pay practices to ensure compliance.”

Investigators established that GM Sager Construction Inc. failed to pay 26 employees for their travel time between the last job site to the company’s yard at the end of each day and for work once employees returned to the yard. The employer failed to record and count this time as hours worked.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Earnings may be determined on a piece-rate basis, but overtime pay must be computed using the employee’s average hourly rate. The law also requires employers to maintain accurate records of employees’ wages, hours and other conditions of employment, and prohibits employers from retaliating against employees who exercise their rights under the law.

29 Jul

Statement by US Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez on the need to raise the minimum wage to benefit workers and the economy




WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez released the following statement on the five-year anniversary of the last increase in the federal minimum wage:

“It’s been exactly five years since workers at the bottom of the income ladder have gotten a raise. Since then, the cost of a gallon of milk, a week of child care, a month’s rent and everything else a working family needs has gone up. But the federal minimum wage remains frozen at $7.25 per hour.

“President Obama believes five years is far too long, and a clear majority of Americans agree. Too many people are working harder but falling further behind, and it’s just plain wrong that men and women working full-time in America should have to raise their families in poverty.

“A minimum wage increase to $10.10 would benefit 28 million people, giving them a little bit of breathing room and peace of mind. And it would help their bosses as well. As I’ve traveled around the country, employers of all sizes and in varied sectors have told me they see higher wages as a sound business investment. They know that it boosts productivity and reduces training costs. They know that, in an economy driven by consumer demand, more money in people’s pockets means more customers for them. This isn’t just anecdotal — a recent poll shows that more than 3-in-5 small business owners support a $10.10 minimum wage.

“Thirteen states and the District of Columbia, responding to grass-roots energy in their communities, have increased their minimum wages since the beginning of 2013. And the president has signed an Executive Order mandating a $10.10 minimum wage for workers under federal service contracts. But still, Congress has failed to act on behalf of all workers.

“This step is long overdue. Our workers need it and they’ve earned it. After five years, it’s time to reward hard work and raise the wage.”

29 Jul

More than $1.6M in unpaid overtime for 1,543 workers in the Gulf Coast recovered by US Labor Department

Ongoing initiative reveals evasive pay practices in the temporary staffing industry

HOUMA, La. — B & D Contracting Inc., a labor recruiting and staffing agency that caters to oil field services and maritime fabrication facilities along the Gulf Coast, has agreed to pay $1,660,438 in back wages to 1,543 current and former employees. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor found that the company engaged in improper pay and record-keeping practices that resulted in employees being denied overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The employees were assigned to client work sites throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to work as welders, pipe fitters, shipfitters and other classifications that serviced clients’ needs.

Investigators from the Wage and Hour Division’s New Orleans District Office found the company mischaracterized certain wages as per diem payments and impermissibly excluded these wages when calculating overtime premiums, denying employees earned overtime compensation.

“Temporary staffing agencies serve valuable and legitimate business needs in today’s economy,” said Dr. David Weil, administrator for the Wage and Hour Division, “But employers may not manipulate these arrangements and use evasive pay practices to avoid paying workers their rightful wages.”

“The labor violations we found in this case are not unique to B & D Contracting Inc.,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the division in the Southwest. “We are increasingly finding the use of per diem schemes as a means of decreasing overtime pay and tax obligations in the staffing and support services industry in this region. The resolution of this case demonstrates our continued focus on combating such labor violations in order to improve compliance in this industry.”

Following the investigation, B & D Contracting agreed to pay back wages owed to employees. The company also signed a settlement agreement with the department, committing itself to implement specific measures to prevent future FLSA violations. These measures include: setting standards to accurately identify and compensate workers who qualify for bona fide per diem payments; paying accurate overtime and ensuring per diem payments are not automatically excluded from overtime calculations; informing employees about their pay and employment conditions; and obtaining written acknowledgment from employees that they understand the criteria for receipt of per diem payments.

Additionally, B & D Contracting agreed to maintain accurate records demonstrating that employees received bona fide per diem payments and that such payments are based either on applicable Internal Revenue Service guidelines or upon a reasonable approximation of the expenses incurred.

Pursuant to the department’s partnerships with the IRS and the Louisiana Workforce Commission, this case has also been referred to those agencies for review under their respective laws.

This investigation was conducted under the Wage and Hour Division’s ongoing initiative focused on strengthening labor compliance among temporary labor providers, such as staffing and support services companies in the Gulf Coast region. The division’s enforcement and compliance assistance efforts are focused on identifying and remedying labor violations involving temporary employment arrangements, and the agency is also working with stakeholders and state agencies to ensure compliance with all applicable laws. Between fiscal years 2011 and 2013, the division’s New Orleans District Office conducted 24 investigations in the temporary help industry securing more than $2.5 million in back wages for more than 3,000 workers.

An employee’s regular pay rate, upon which overtime must be computed, includes all wages for employment, except certain payments excluded by the FLSA, such as reimbursements for work-related expenses. Payments reasonably approximating travel or other expenses incurred on the employer’s behalf may be excluded from the employee’s regular rate of pay when computing overtime. However, where an employee receives such payments but actually incurs no such additional expenses, such payments do not constitute bona fide reimbursements and must be included in the employee’s regular rate of pay for purposes of computing an overtime premium.

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least the national minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.

29 Jul

Nueces Electrical Co-op pays former employee nearly $47,000 after US Department of Labor finds Family and Medical Leave Act violations



CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — An employee of Nueces Electrical Co-op in Corpus Christi has received $46,920 in back wages and damages after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the company in violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act.

“The FMLA protects eligible workers from having to choose between work and family care or personal medical leave needs,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division for the Southwest. “When employees are unlawfully denied leave and their livelihoods put at risk, the potential for harm is great.”

The division’s McAllen District Office found that the employer, a company that provides electrical services to Corpus Christi and surrounding areas, wrongfully advised the employee to retire or face termination of employment for needing leave for an FMLA-qualifying health condition. The employer’s actions forced the employee, who was entitled to receive FMLA job-protected leave, to cash out a 401(k) savings plan, which incurred significant penalties. The employee suffered wage losses, resulting in loan defaults and an inability to pay essential bills.

In addition to the monetary damages, the company neglected to provide proper FMLA notice to the employee. Under the FMLA, a covered employer must notify eligible employees of their FMLA rights and responsibilities and permit employees to take leave as outlined in the FMLA.

Nueces Electrical Co-op has agreed to future compliance with the FMLA and instituted new policies to prevent future violations.

The FMLA allows an eligible employee to take unpaid leave to bond with a newborn, newly adopted or placed child, for their own serious health condition, or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent, without fear of losing their job and with continuation of health care coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken leave. FMLA leave may also be taken for specified reasons related to certain military deployments and to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness. An employer is prohibited from interfering with, restraining, or denying the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, an FMLA right. Prohibited conduct includes refusal to authorize FMLA leave for an eligible employee.

29 Jul

Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, to pay $800,000 in minimum wage back wages, liquidated damages following US Labor Department investigation


Restaurant had illegal tip pool arrangement

AMARILLO, Texas — Big Texan Steak Ranch has agreed to pay $650,000 in minimum wage back wages and $150,000 in liquidated damages to 279 current and former wait staff following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which found violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and record-keeping provisions. Violations stemmed from an illegal tip pooling arrangement by the restaurant.

“Through investigations such as this one, the Wage and Hour Division continues to combat widespread labor violations among restaurants to protect workers and to ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Cynthia Watson, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the Southwest. “The restaurant industry employs some of our country’s lowest-paid workers, who are vulnerable to exploitation. We will continue our effort in the restaurant industry to promote awareness and improve compliance, so workers and businesses can prosper together.”

The investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s Albuquerque District Office determined that Big Texan illegally retained a portion of the restaurant workers’ tips to pay for business costs, such as menus, glassware, trays and contest prizes. The employer also made illegal deductions from workers’ paychecks for uniforms and withheld additional percentages of tips as a disciplinary tactic, bringing those workers’ hourly wages below the required federal minimum wage. Additionally, the company failed to maintain accurate time and payroll records.

The FLSA requires that covered, nonexempt employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates of pay for hours worked beyond 40 per week. In accordance with the FLSA, an employer of a tipped employee is required to pay no less than $2.13 an hour in direct wages, provided that amount plus the tips received equals at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct wages do not equal the minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference. Employers are required to provide employees notice of the FLSA tip credit provisions, to maintain accurate time and payroll records and to comply with the hours, hazardous orders and other restrictions applying to workers under age 18.

29 Jul

MSHA publishes proposed rule on civil penalty assessments




MSHA publishes proposed rule on civil penalty assessments

Proposal simplifies process, improves consistency with emphasis on more serious conditions

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today it will publish a proposed rule that would amend its existing civil penalty regulations by simplifying the criteria for assessing health and safety violations and increasing emphasis on more serious safety and health conditions, thus providing improved safety and health for miners. The proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on July 31.

“This proposed rule would simplify the process and increase consistency, objectivity and efficiency in the citations and orders that inspectors issue. Furthermore, it would facilitate improved compliance and early resolution of enforcement issues,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

MSHA’s proposal is structured to encourage operators to be more accountable and proactive in addressing safety and health conditions at their mines. Under the proposal, total penalties proposed by MSHA and the distribution of the penalty amount by mine size would remain generally the same; however, the penalty amount for small metal and nonmetal mines would decrease. The existing minimum penalty of $112 and the maximum penalty of $70,000 for non-flagrant violations would not change, but minimum penalties for unwarrantable failure violations — that is, violations that constitute more than just ordinary negligence — would increase to provide a greater deterrent for mine operators who allow these violations to occur.

In early 2010, Main testified before Congress about the growing backlog of contested civil penalty cases. Among the solutions he proposed was making the evaluation and writing of citations simpler, more objective, clear and consistent. The following year, President Obama issued an Executive Order requiring agencies to review and simplify their regulations. The proposed rule is responsive to those concerns.

“MSHA has implemented a number of initiatives to encourage mine operators to find and fix conditions and practices that could lead to violations, and we believe those efforts have led to improved safety and health conditions in mines,” said Main. “The number of violations cited by MSHA has decreased, as has the backlog of contested cases. The proposed rule will improve the civil penalty process, and we welcome comments from the entire mining community.”

29 Jul

Darryl Howes Farms ordered to pay back wages to 36 migrant workers to resolve US Department of Labor lawsuit

July 14, 2014

Farm operation previously ordered to stop misclassifying migrant workers


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Copemish employer Darryl Howes, doing business as Darryl Howes Farms, signed a consent judgment under which he agreed to pay $11,253 in back wages to 36 migrant workers to resolve a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor. Howes has agreed to implement enhanced record-keeping procedures to ensure the business complies with the record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The consent judgment resolves a federal lawsuit filed by the department alleging minimum wage, record-keeping and housing violations and alleges that Howes unlawfully interfered with the Wage and Hour Division’s investigation. The Wage and Hour Division’s investigation revealed that Darryl Howes Farms misclassified its migrant agricultural workers as independent contractors rather than employees entitled to minimum wage and other protections of the FLSA and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act. The back wages due must be paid within 10 days of the consent judgment being entered by the court.

“This consent judgment sends a clear message to farm operations that denying workers their rightfully earned wages by misclassifying them as independent contractors will not be tolerated, and that wage laws will be enforced,” said Mary O’Rourke, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in Grand Rapids. “The department is committed to protecting the many low-wage migrant workers who deserve the wages they earn.”

In earlier case proceedings, U.S. District Judge Gordon J. Quist issued an opinion and order that upheld the department’s findings of record-keeping and housing violations during the 2011 harvest at Howes’ 60-acre cucumber farm and migrant housing camp. The court ruled previously that Howes provided substandard housing to migrant workers at a housing camp he controlled, in violation of the MSPA. The violations at the housing camp included failures to provide adequate shelter; to prevent insect or pest infestation; to remove standing wastewater; to repair broken screen doors and showers; and to maintain toilets in a sanitary condition. The court ordered Howes to ensure all MSPA housing he owns or controls complies with the MSPA. The court previously held that Howes interfered with the department’s investigation by impeding the department’s confidential interviews with his employees.

The Wage and Hour Division enforces the MSPA, which protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures and record keeping. The division also enforces the FLSA, which requires covered employers to pay nonexempt farm workers at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked.

29 Jul

H-1B Debarred/Disqualified Employers

What is a “willful violator employer”?
“Willful violator” or “willful violator employer,” means an employer that meets all of the following standards:

  • A finding of violation by the employer is entered in either of the following two types of enforcement proceeding:
    1. A Department of Labor proceeding under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) § 212(n)(2); (8 U.S.C. § 1182(n)(2)(C); or
    2. A Department of Justice proceeding under INA § 212(n)(5); (8 U.S.C.§ 1182(n)(5).)
  • The agency (DOL) finds that the employer has committed either a willful failure or a misrepresentation of a material fact (two of the Labor Condition Application (LCA) attestations; and
  • DOL’s finding is entered on or after October 21, 1998.

A willful violator employer must comply with additional attestations under any LCA it files within five years of the willful violation finding. The only exception is when an LCA is filed for and used exclusively for exempt H-1B workers (see WH Fact Sheet #62Q).
Willful violators and H-1B-dependent employers (see WH Fact Sheet #62C) which file an LCA must meet the following additional requirements:
The employer has not displaced a U.S. worker at the time of filing an H-1B visa petition (see WH Fact Sheet #62N);

Before placing an H-1B worker at a secondary employer’s work site, the employer has inquired as to the secondary employer’s intent to displace a U.S. worker (see WH Fact Sheet #62N);

  • The employer has taken good faith steps to recruit U.S. workers (see WH Fact Sheets #62O and #62P); and
  • The employer has offered the job to any equally or better qualified U.S. worker who applies for the job for which the H-1B worker is sought (see WH Fact Sheets #62O and #62P).

Willful violators are subject to random investigations by the Department of Labor for a period of up to five years from the date that the employer is determined to be a willful violator. The Wage and Hour Division maintains a current list of such H-1B willful violators.


H-1B Debarred/Disqualified List of Employers

Employer Name Willful Violator Debarment Period
3A Technologies, Inc. YES 2/1/2013
3780 Rochester Rd. to
Suite 105 1/31/2015
Troy, MI 48083

Amreli Technology Solutions LLC YES 1/31/2014
and Atul Hipara, to
an individual 1/30/2016
17530 NE Union Hill Rd.
Redmond, WA  98052

ASAP America, LLC YES 7/31/2013
d/b/a ASAP America to
1501 US Highway 441, 7/30/2015
North, Suite 1706
The Villages, FL  32159

Asterix Consulting Inc. NO 5/30/2013
and Pasapula Jaganmohan Ram to
303 5th Avenue Ste 1301 5/29/2014
New York, NY 10016

DTP, LLC YES 12/10/2013
d/b/a Digital Transaction to
Processing 12/9/2015
and Himanshu Shekhar,
an individual
16000 Christensen Road
Suite 130
Seattle, WA  98188

EnterSoft Solutions, Inc. YES 5/25/2012
370 Convention Way to
Suite 3023 5/24/2014
Redwood City, CA 94063
iFuturistics, Inc. YES 3/20/2013
315 Main Street, to
Suite A 3/19/2015
Pineville, NC 28134

Infinitum, Inc. YES 2/1/2013
15 Constitution Drive, to
Suite 165 1/31/2015
Bedford, NH 03110
Jai Mataji, LLC YES 10/29/2013
d/b/a The Country Store to
1206 Piedmount Hwy. 10/28/2015
Cedartown, GA  30125

Life Nutritionales LLC YES 7/31/2013
d/b/a Life Nutritionales to
1501 US Highway 441, 7/30/2015
North, Suite 1706
The Villages, FL  32159

MG Globalsoft, LLC YES 2/1/2013
32580 Grand River Avenue to
Room 7 1/31/2015
Farmington, MI 48336

NetXert, Inc. YES 11/30/2012
3915 Research Park Drive to
Suite A-1 11/29/2014
Ann Arbor, MI 48108

Oshima Saito LLP YES 11/30/2012
and Joe Oshima, Individually to
509 5th Avenue, 11/29/2014
6th Floor
New York, NY 11377

Pal-Do Company Inc. YES 2/1/2013
9601 S. Tacoma Way to
Lakewood, WA 98499

RP Consultants, Inc. NO 4/15/2013
d/b/a Net Matrix Solutions, Inc. to
10235 W. Little York Road 4/14/2014
Suite 435
Houston, TX 77040

Rudell & Associates, Inc. YES 10/29/2013
and Rodolfo Quiambao, to
an individual 10/28/2015
11-11 40th Avenue
Long Island City, NY

Supreme Tech Solutions, LLC YES 12/31/2013
(Krios Technology Group LLC) to
8306-B Old Courthouse Road 12/30/2015
Vienna, VA  22182

Usnets Systems, Inc. YES 5/25/2012
and Sayed Hussain to
President, an individual 5/24/2014
860 US Highway 1
Edison, NJ 08817

U.S. Rehab Services, P.C. NO 1/31/2014
555 South Mission Street to
Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

Vulcan Capital Management Inc. YES 6/27/2013
and Ford Graham, individually to
75 Rockfeller Plaza, 6/26/2015
18th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Worldwide Software Services, Inc. YES 8/24/2012
1001 2nd Avenue North to
Clinton, IA 52732 8/23/2014

*This list is effective as of March 31, 2014.

27 Jul

Jobs Created During Each Presidency Term

U.S. president Party Term years Start jobs End jobs Created jobs Ave annual increase
Barack Obama D 2009–2013 133,631,000 134,839,000 1,208,000 0.23%
George W. Bush R 2005–2009 132,502,000 133,631,000 1,129,000 0.21%
George W. Bush R 2001–2005 132,466,000 132,453,000 -13,000 0.00%
Bill Clinton D 1997–2001 121,231,000 132,466,000 11,233,000 2.24%
Bill Clinton D 1993–1997 109,725,000 121,233,000 11,507,000 2.52%
George H. W. Bush R 1989–1993 107,133,000 109,726,000 2,593,000 0.60%
Ronald Reagan R 1985–1989 96,353,000 107,133,000 10,780,000 2.69%
Ronald Reagan R 1981–1985 91,031,000 96,353,000 5,322,000 1.43%
Jimmy Carter D 1977–1981 80,692,000 91,031,000 10,339,000 3.06%
Nixon/Ford R 1973–1977 75,620,000 80,692,000 5,072,000 1.64%
Richard Nixon R 1969–1973 69,438,000 75,620,000 6,182,000 2.16%
Lyndon Johnson D 1965–1969 59,583,000 69,438,000 9,855,000 3.90%
Kennedy / Johnson D 1961–1965 53,683,000 59,583,000 5,900,000 2.64%
Dwight Eisenhower R 1957–1961 52,888,000 53,683,000 795,000 0.37%
Dwight Eisenhower R 1953–1957 50,145,000 52,888,000 2,743,000 1.34%
Harry Truman D 1949–1953 44,675,000 50,145,000 5,470,000 2.93%
Roosevelt / Truman D 1945–1949 41,903,000 44,675,000 2,772,000 1.61%
Franklin Roosevelt D 1941–1945 34,480,000 41,903,000 7,423,000 5.00%
Franklin Roosevelt D 1937–1941 31,200,000 34,480,000 3,280,000 2.53% **
Franklin Roosevelt D 1933–1937 25,700,000 31,200,000 5,500,000 4.97% **
Herbert Hoover R 1929–1933 32,100,000 25,700,000 -6,400,000 -5.41% **
Calvin Coolidge R 1925–1929 29,500,000 32,100,000 2,600,000 2.13% **
Harding / Coolidge R 1921–1925 25,000,000 29,500,000 4,500,000 4.23% **
**Approximate, as of December 2013


The table represents the number of US jobs created or lost during the years of each presidents’ term. Sometimes these numbers are debated:they include only non-farm payroll employment, which excludes certain types of jobs, notably the self-employed. However, as a semi-balancing factor, they count one person with two jobs as two employed persons. Another factor to consider is population growth, which provides opportunities for the creation of jobs, rendering these figures less impressive.
JOB DESCRIPTION: This step is a beginning of the process and it must be provided to the SWA when requesting a prevailing wage information. PREVAILING WAGE: Employer is not permitted to offer a wage rate lower than the prevailing wage rate. RECRUITMENT SOURCES: Job posting in SWA: Employer is obligated to place a job order with the SWA serving the area of designated employment. The 30 day job order timeframe must end at least 30 days prior to filing. Online job posting: We are able to offer you discounts on placing a postings on an online job board. We collaborate with many job board owners and receive special discounts, which are passed on directly to you. Printed media job posting: Most employers, based on their normal recruiting efforts, will be able to readily identify those newspapers (or journals for certain professional positions) that are most likely to bring responses from able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers.Employment firm: Since an employment agency is a subsidiary of or company, this service discount is definitely considerable.

24 Jul

PERM Advertising Content

Does the job location address need to be included in the advertisement?

No, the address does not need to be included. However, advertisements must indicate the geographic area of employment with enough specificity to apprise applicants of any travel requirements and where applicants will likely have to reside to perform the job opportunity. Employers are not required to specify the job site, unless the job site is unclear; for example, if applicants must respond to a location other than the job site (e.g., company headquarters in another state) or if the employer has multiple job sites.

Does the employer’s address need to be included in the advertisement?

No, the employer’s physical address does not need to be included in the advertisement. Employers may designate a central office or post office box to receive resumes from applicants, provided the advertisement makes clear where the work will be performed.

Does the offered wage need to be included in the advertisements?

No, the offered wage does not need to be included in the advertisement, but if a wage rate is included, it can not be lower than the prevailing wage rate.

Why must the advertisement medium be different in order for advertisements to be counted as additional steps? For instance why is it not permissible to count advertisements on two separate web sites as two steps or to place a third advertisement in the same newspaper of general circulation rather than using a local or ethnic publication and have it count as an additional step?

As with all the recruitment requirements, the purpose of requiring the employer to use three additional recruitment steps is to ensure that the greatest number of able, willing, qualified, and available U.S. workers are apprised of the job opportunity. It should be noted that each of the steps may target slightly different applicant populations. Using at least three of the additional steps normally used by businesses to recruit workers is a means of apprising a greater number of U.S. applicants of the job opportunity and more adequately substantiates an employer’s claim there are no available U.S. workers for the job offer.

24 Jul

PERM Position Job Description

What level of detail regarding the job offer must be included in the advertisement?

Employers need to apprise applicants of the job opportunity.
The regulation does not require employers to run advertisements enumerating every job duty, job requirement, and condition of employment.
As long as the employer can demonstrate a logical nexus between the advertisement and the position listed on the employer’s application, the employer will meet the requirement of apprising applicants of the job opportunity.

An advertisement that includes a description of the vacancy, the name of the employer, the geographic area of employment, and the means to contact the employer to apply may be sufficient to apprise potentially qualified applicants of the job opportunity.

NOTE: While employers will have the option to place broadly written advertisements with few details regarding job duties and requirements, they must prepare a recruitment report that addresses all minimally qualified applicants for the job opportunity.
If an employer places a generic advertisement, the employer may receive a large volume of applicants, all of whom must be addressed in the recruitment report.

Employers placing general advertisements may wish to include a job identification code or other information to assist the employer in tracking applicants to the job opportunity.


If the employer includes job duties and requirements in the advertisement, must they be listed on the Application for Permanent Employment Certification, ETA Form 9089, as well?

Yes, if an employer wishes to include additional information about the job opportunity, such as the minimum education and experience requirements or specific job duties, the employer may do so, provided these requirements also appear on the ETA Form 9089.

24 Jul

PERM Advertising for Professional Occupations

When advertising for a professional occupation, must the required steps, i.e., the job order, the two print advertisements, and the three additional recruitment steps be different? 

Generally, all the required steps must be different.

Steps can not be duplicated nor can one step be used to satisfy two requirements, except in the case of copies of web pages generated in conjunction with the newspaper advertisements which can serve as documentation of the use of a web site other than the employers.
For example, the employer can not count two advertisements in a local and/or ethnic newspaper, or two postings on a web site, as two steps.
Similarly, the employer can not use a professional journal in lieu of a second Sunday newspaper advertisement and then count it again as an additional “trade or professional organizations” recruitment step, or count the job order again as an additional “web site other than the employer’s” step. 

24 Jul

Professional or Nonprofessional PERM Occupations

How does an employer determine whether to advertise under the recruitment requirements for professional occupations or nonprofessional occupations?

The employer must recruit under the standards for professional occupations set forth in § 656.17(e)(1) if the occupation involved is on the list of occupations, published in Appendix A to the preamble of the final PERM regulation, for which a bachelor’s or higher degree is a customary requirement.

For all other occupations not normally requiring a bachelor’s or higher degree, employers can simply recruit under the requirements for nonprofessional occupations at § 656.17(e)(2).
Although the occupation involved in a labor certification application may be a nonprofessional occupation, the regulations do not prohibit employers from conducting more recruitment than is specified for such occupations.

Therefore, if the employer is uncertain whether an occupation is considered professional or not, the employer is advised to conduct recruitment for a professional occupation.

24 Jul

What is Permanent Labor Certification Process

The actual process for permanent labor certification varies depending upon the program being used.

The filing of applications is the responsibility of the employer, not the employee.

However, the employee can benefit from understanding the program being utilized in his/her behalf. In general, the Department of Labor (DOL) works to ensure that the admission of foreign workers to work in the U.S. will not adversely affect the job opportunities, wages and working conditions of U.S. workers. Once a permanent labor certification application has been approved by the DOL, the employer will need to seek the immigration authorization from USCIS.

24 Jul

What is Foreign Labor Certification Process

Hiring foreign workers for employment in the U.S. normally requires approval from several government agencies. In most instances, employers first seek labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

Although each foreign labor certification program is unique, there are similar requirements that the employer must complete prior to the issuance of a labor certification. In general, the employer will be required to complete these basic steps to obtain a labor certification:



  1. The employer must ensure that the position meets the qualifying criteria for the requested program.
  2. The employer must complete the ETA form designated for the requested program. This may include the form and any supporting documentation (e.g., job description, resume of the applicant, etc.).
  3. The employer must ensure that the wage offered equals or exceeds the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment.
  4. The employer must ensure that the compliance issues effected upon receipt of a foreign labor certification are completely understood.
  5. The completed ETA form is submitted to the designated Department of Labor office for the requested program (e.g., SWA, processing center or the national office).
  6. The employer is notified of the determination of the Department of Labor.

Once the application is certified by DOL (approved), the employer must petition the U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for a visa. Approval of labor certificate does not guarantee a visa issuance. The Department of State (DOS) will issue an immigrant visa number to the foreign worker for U.S. entry. Applicants must also establish that they are admissible to the U.S. under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

The foreign labor certification process is the responsibility of the employer, not the employee; however, the employee can benefit from understanding these programs. The actual procedures depend on the nature of the visa being requested: PermanentH-1BH-2AH-2BD-1.

17 Jul

2014 Green Card Sponsors by Work State: Texas

Rank Green Card Sponsor # of Petitions Average Salary
1 Infosys 68 $79,664
2 Ericsson 55 $91,955
3 Fort Worth Independent School District 45 $48,599
4 Verizon Communications, & All Its Subsidiaries & Affiliates 37 $89,027
5 Intel 35 $130,646
6 Hcl America 35 $102,075
7 Dallas Independent School District 34 $46,262
8 Xenosoft Technologies 28 $95,725
9 Amdocs 28 $89,821
10 Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals 27 $101,661
11 Deloitte Consulting 26 $120,694
12 Dell Usa 26 $95,979
13 Cameron International 25 $90,091
14 Cggveritas Services (Us) 25 $80,512
15 Hewlett-packard Company 23 $108,781
16 American Unit 23 $88,898
17 Yash & Lujan Consulting 23 $69,161
18 At&T, And All Of Its Subsidiaries And Affiliates 22 $101,041
19 Bank Of America 21 $101,163
20 Sbm Atlantia 21 $94,991
21 Kennedy International Software 21 $90,568
22 American Information Technology 21 $83,483
23 Cisco Systems 20 $108,785
24 Oracle America 20 $102,969
25 Garland Independent School District 20 $47,775
17 Jul

2014 Green Card Sponsors by Work City: Houston, TX

Rank Green Card Sponsor Green Card Petitions Average Salary
1 Bechtel Oil, Gas & Chemicals 27 $101,661
2 Cameron International 25 $90,091
3 Cggveritas Services (Us) 25 $80,512
4 Sbm Atlantia 21 $94,991
5 Camelot Integrated Solutions 19 $80,042
6 Advent Global Solutions 14 $132,270
7 Worleyparsons Group 14 $106,668
8 Fmc Technologies 14 $93,582
9 Chevron 13 $133,568
10 Shell Oil Company 12 $131,196
11 Kbr Technical Services 12 $99,379
12 Ez2 Technologies 12 $94,460
13 Alief Independent School District 12 $56,337
14 Exxon Mobil 11 $177,490
15 Occidental Oil And Gas 11 $119,250
16 Technip Usa 11 $113,004
17 Cb&i 10 $104,082
18 Flexera Global 10 $88,123
19 Deloitte Consulting 9 $124,799
20 Halliburton Energy Services 9 $94,618
21 Foxconn Assembly 9 $45,964
22 Conocophillips Company 8 $118,520
23 Hewlett-packard Company 8 $111,548
24 Weatherford International 8 $109,432
25 National Oilwell Varco, L.p. 8 $99,396
17 Jul

2014 Top Green Card Sponsors by Country of Citizenship

Rank Citizenship Country Green Card Petitions Average Salary
1 India 25,375 $100,673
2 China 2,502 $94,512
3 South Korea 2,044 $73,024
4 Canada 1,881 $116,716
5 Philippines 1,340 $66,793
6 Mexico 1,299 $63,420
7 United Kingdom 644 $117,752
8 Taiwan 514 $84,691
9 Pakistan 509 $110,310
10 Japan 378 $82,313
11 Nepal 354 $93,685
12 Turkey 318 $98,402
13 Venezuela 312 $92,949
14 France 302 $119,771
15 Brazil 299 $97,839
16 Germany 290 $110,280
17 Israel 257 $121,889
18 Russia 254 $104,769
19 Italy 234 $100,143
20 Colombia 223 $86,070
21 Australia 174 $127,951
22 Iran 156 $88,548
23 Ecuador 150 $54,447
24 Spain 149 $112,409
24 Poland 149 $75,442
26 Malaysia 146 $93,374
27 Bangladesh 145 $89,204
28 Nigeria 144 $107,802
29 Romania 134 $100,437
30 Ukraine 131 $100,291
30 Thailand 131 $83,586
32 Indonesia 128 $86,137
33 Peru 118 $83,264
34 Ireland 111 $112,247
34 Argentina 111 $104,546
36 Singapore 105 $111,480
37 South Africa 103 $107,300
38 Lebanon 101 $135,553
39 United States Of America 95 $85,525
40 Sri Lanka 93 $91,954
41 Egypt 92 $114,707
42 Jamaica 84 $68,479
43 Netherlands 78 $110,343
44 Vietnam 77 $86,602
45 Hong Kong 72 $88,991
46 Bulgaria 70 $97,616
47 Greece 69 $120,764
47 Guatemala 69 $49,052
49 Jordan 68 $122,743
50 Syria 67 $143,320