20 CFR 655.1318 - Debarment.

§ 655.1318 Debarment.
(a) The Administrator, OFLC may not issue future labor certifications under this subpart to an employer and any successor in interest to the debarred employer, subject to the time limits set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, if:
(1) The Administrator, OFLC finds that the employer substantially violated a material term or condition of its temporary labor certification with respect to the employment of domestic or nonimmigrant workers; and
(2) The Administrator, OFLC issues a Notice of Intent to Debar no later than 2 years after the occurrence of the violation.
(b) The Administrator, OFLC may not issue future labor certifications under this subpart to an employer represented by an agent or attorney, subject to the time limits set forth in paragraph (c) of this section, if:
(1) The Administrator, OFLC finds that the agent or attorney participated in, had knowledge of, or had reason to know of, an employer's substantial violation; and
(2) The Administrator, OFLC issues the agent or attorney a Notice of Intent to Debar no later than 2 years after the occurrence of the violation.
(c) No employer, attorney, or agent may be debarred under this subpart for more than 3 years.
(d) For the purposes of this section, a substantial violation includes:
(1) A pattern or practice of acts of commission or omission on the part of the employer or the employer's agent which:
(i) Are significantly injurious to the wages or benefits required to be offered under the H-2A program, or working conditions of a significant number of the employer's U.S. or H-2A workers; or
(ii) Reflect a significant failure to offer employment to all qualified domestic workers who applied for the job opportunity for which certification was being sought, except for lawful job-related reasons; or
(iii) Reflect a willful failure to comply with the employer's obligations to recruit U.S. workers as set forth in this subpart; or
(iv) Reflect a significant failure to comply with the audit process in violation of § 655.112; or
(v) Reflect the employment of an H-2A worker outside the area of intended employment, or in an activity/activities, not listed in the job order (other than an activity minor and incidental to the activity/activities listed in the job order), or after the period of employment specified in the job order and any approved extension;
(2) The employer's persistent or prolonged failure to pay the necessary fee in a timely manner, following the issuance of a deficiency notice to the applicant and allowing for a reasonable period for response;
(3) Fraud involving the Application for Temporary Employment Certification or a response to an audit;
(4) A significant failure to cooperate with a DOL investigation or with a DOL official performing an investigation, inspection, or law enforcement function under sec. 218 of the INA at 8 U.S.C. 1188, this subpart, or 29 CFR part 501 (ESA enforcement of contractual obligations); or
(5) A significant failure to comply with one or more sanctions or remedies imposed by the ESA for violation(s) of obligations found by that agency (if applicable), or with one or more decisions or orders of the Secretary or a court order secured by the Secretary under sec. 218 of the INA at 8 U.S.C. 1188, this subpart, or 29 CFR part 501 (ESA enforcement of contractual obligations); or
(6) A single heinous act showing such flagrant disregard for the law that future compliance with program requirements cannot reasonably be expected.
(e) DOL procedures for debarment under this section will be as follows:
(1) The Administrator, OFLC will send to the employer, attorney, or agent a Notice of Intent to Debar by means normally ensuring next-day delivery, which will contain a detailed statement of the grounds for the proposed debarment. The employer, attorney or agent may submit evidence in rebuttal within 14 calendar days of the date the notice is issued. The Administrator, OFLC must consider all relevant evidence presented in deciding whether to debar the employer, attorney, or agent.
(2) If rebuttal evidence is not timely filed by the employer, attorney, or agent, the Notice of Intent to Debar will become the final decision of the Secretary and take effect immediately at the end of the 14-day period.
(3) If, after reviewing the employer's timely filed rebuttal evidence, the Administrator, OFLC determines that the employer, attorney, or agent more likely than not meets one or more of the bases for debarment under § 655.118(d), the Administrator, OFLC will notify the employer, by means normally ensuring next-day delivery, within 14 calendar days after receiving such timely filed rebuttal evidence, of his/her final determination of debarment and of the employer, attorney, or agent's right to appeal.
(4) The Notice of Debarment must be in writing, must state the reason for the debarment finding, including a detailed explanation of the grounds for and the duration of the debarment, and must offer the employer, attorney, or agent an opportunity to request a hearing. The notice must state that, to obtain such a hearing, the debarred party must, within 30 calendar days of the date of the notice, file a written request to the Chief Administrative Law Judge, United States Department of Labor, 800 K Street, NW., Suite 400-N, Washington, DC 20001-8002, and simultaneously serve a copy to the Administrator, OFLC. The debarment will take effect 30 days from the date the Notice of Debarment is issued unless a request for a hearing is properly filed within 30 days from the date the Notice of Debarment is issued. The timely filing of the request for a hearing stays the debarment pending the outcome of the hearing.
(5)
(i) Hearing. Within 10 days of receipt of the request for a hearing, the Administrator, OFLC will send a certified copy of the ETA case file to the Chief Administrative Law Judge by means normally assuring next-day delivery. The Chief Administrative Law Judge will immediately assign an ALJ to conduct the hearing. The procedures in 29 CFR part 18 apply to such hearings, except that the request for a hearing will not be considered to be a complaint to which an answer is required;
(ii) Decision. After the hearing, the ALJ must affirm, reverse, or modify the Administrator, OFLC 's determination. The ALJ's decision must be provided immediately to the employer, Administrator, OFLC, DHS, and DOS by means normally assuring next-day delivery. The ALJ's decision is the final decision of the Secretary, unless either party, within 30 calendar days of the ALJ's decision, seeks review of the decision with the Administrative Review Board (ARB).
(iii) Review by the ARB.
(A) Any party wishing review of the decision of an ALJ must, within 30 days of the decision of the ALJ, petition the ARB to review the decision. Copies of the petition must be served on all parties and on the ALJ. The ARB must decide whether to accept the petition within 30 days of receipt. If the ARB declines to accept the petition or if the ARB does not issue a notice accepting a petition within 30 days after the receipt of a timely filing of the petition, the decision of the ALJ shall be deemed the final agency action. If a petition for review is accepted, the decision of the ALJ shall be stayed unless and until the ARB issues an order affirming the decision. The ARB must serve notice of its decision to accept or not to accept the petition upon the ALJ and upon all parties to the proceeding in person or by certified mail.
(B) Upon receipt of the ARB's notice to accept the petition, the Office of Administrative Law Judges shall promptly forward a copy of the complete hearing record to the ARB.
(C) Where the ARB has determined to review such decision and order, the ARB shall notify each party of:
(1) The issue or issues raised;
(2) The form in which submissions shall be made (i.e., briefs, oral argument, etc.); and
(3) The time within which such presentation shall be submitted.
(D) The ARB's final decision must be issued within 90 days from the notice granting the petition and served upon all parties and the ALJ, in person or by certified mail. If the ARB fails to provide a decision within 90 days from the notice granting the petition, the ALJ's decision will be the final decision of the Secretary.
(f) Debarment involving members of associations. If the Administrator, OFLC determines a substantial violation has occurred, and if an individual employer-member of an agricultural association acting as a joint employer is determined to have committed the violation, the debarment determination will apply only to that member of the association unless the Administrator, OFLC determines that the association or other association members participated in the violation, in which case the debarment will be invoked against the complicit association or other association members.
(g) Debarment involving agricultural associations acting as joint employers. If the Administrator, OFLC determines a substantial violation has occurred, and if an agricultural association acting as a joint employer with its members is found to have committed the violation, the debarment determination will apply only to the association, and will not be applied to any individual employer-member of the association unless the Administrator, OFLC determines that the member participated in the violation, in which case the debarment will be invoked against any complicit association members as well. An association debarred from the H-2A temporary labor certification program will not be permitted to continue to file as a joint employer with its members during the period of the debarment.
(h) Debarment involving agricultural associations acting as sole employers. If the Administrator, OFLC determines a substantial violation has occurred, and if an agricultural association acting as a sole employer is determined to have committed the violation, the debarment determination will apply only to the association and any successor in interest to the debarred association.

Title 20 published on 2014-04-01

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