Saipan World Resort did not violate the Employer Regulation Declaration as charged by the Enforcement Section of the Department of Labor in their May 12, 2014, hearing, according to hearing officer Jerry Cody, who cited the regulation’s “ambiguity” as reasons for favoring the hotel.
According to the regulation, Enforcement requires employers to file a “declaration” on the Labor’s website within 14 days after posting a job position.
Four positions were made available by World Resort between October 2013 and March-April 2014, with a closing deadline of April 4, 2014. But as of April 20, 2014, no response by World Resort had been made.
In its defense, World Resort emphasized that the regulation’s language required a declaration only if a U.S. citizen or permanent resident was rejected. Explaining that the hotel’s hiring of employees is a multi-step process that takes as long as four to six weeks, a decision to reject or hire was not made within 14 days.
While World Resort acknowledged the deadline, they found no declaration was necessary since no hiring decision was made.
Cody accepted that argument, ruling that an employer only has an obligation to file a declaration if a decision not to hire a citizen or permanent resident was made. If a decision extends beyond the deadline and the employer responds promptly after the hiring decision, the employer should not be sanctioned for failing to file within the 14-day period.
In reviewing World Resort’s hiring practice, Cody found that the hotel demonstrated good faith in their attempt to hire U.S. citizens. (Dennis B. Chan)