July 9, 2008

Recruitment filings by Pittsburgh law firm under U.S. Labor scrutiny

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Pittsburgh Business Times

VIDEO: PERM Fake Job Ads defraud Americans to secure green cards

The United States Department of Labor today announced that it has begun placing pending permanent labor certification applications filed by Pittsburgh-based law firm Cohen & Grigsby PC into department-supervised recruitment.

Supervised recruitment requires the employer to receive advance approval from the labor department for all recruitment efforts to ensure that U.S, workers are fully considered for available positions.

The labor department said in a release that it began auditing applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby last year "as a result of information indicating the firm may have improperly advised its clients regarding the recruitment of U.S. workers." Because of concerns identified in the audits, the labor department said it is requiring supervised recruitment for certain applications filed by Cohen & Grigsby.

Cohen & Grigsby is Pittsburgh's fifth largest law firm. Managing partner Jack Elliott was not immediately available for comment.

Last summer, segments of a video from an immigration law update seminar the firm held in Pittsburgh in May 2007 wound up on YouTube and some cable news shows, triggering politicians to request that the Department of Labor investigate further. In the segment, Cohen & Grigsby lawyers discuss compliance with a law that requires employers to prove they tried to find qualified U.S. workers for a position before applying for green cards for foreign workers. But some comments seem to be about getting around the law rather than complying with it.

At that time, the firm issued a statement that it stood by the "substance" of its seminar but expressed regret at "the choice of words" used during "a small segment" of the seminar. "It is unfortunate that these statements have been commandeered and misused, which runs contrary to our intent," the firm said.

No comments:

Should the Texas State Legislature pass immigration enforcement laws in 2009?