ILLEGAL DOL PLAN

December 16, 2010

Department of Labor Deputy Secretary Cinta Kaipat announced that 6,500 jobs will be vacated by foreign workers next year and should be available to locals. Really?  These workers are leaving their jobs? Where did this information come from?

Kaipat stated that the available positions include 606 housemaids. So she thinks that "locals" will accept the low paying housemaid positions?!

 It get s better. The Marianas Variety reported:
The other positions are for accountants, 357; maintenance and general repair staff, 345; general and operation managers, 330; janitors, 237; waiters and waitresses, 188; supervisors and office administrative staff, 175; restaurant cooks, 164; chefs and head cooks, 151; nurses, 143; laborers and farm workers, 127; masons, 116; and massage therapists, 94.

According to Labor, of the 6,510 jobs, 1,904 require only a high school diploma and up to a few months of training.

2,237 jobs require an associate degree and one to two years training and experience.

1,033 jobs require a four-year bachelor’s degree and several years of experience and only 77 require a master’s degree, a Ph.D, an M.D. or law degree and adequate experience and training.
So there are magically going to be 6,500 "locals" who qualify to fill such positions as nurses, cooks and chefs and even massage therapists? Or 6,500 locals who would want to fill any of the positions.

What is more incredible is that her plan is illegal. It seems that she is getting her numbers by estimating when the foreign contract workers' contract will expire.  The employers may opt to renew their loyal and well-trained foreign workers.  Kaipat seems to imply that employers will have to re-advertise and will be forced to take locals. Local preference is illegal under federal law.

The Variety reported:
Vice Speaker Felicidad T. Ogumoro, Covenant-Saipan, said there is an urgency to train locals for jobs currently held by nonresidents.

“We are trying to see where everybody is now in terms of developing a skilled local labor force. We will take a look at the jobs that are immediately needed to make sure that we are together in this effort so that we understand the priorities before we can resolve critical manpower needs,” she said. 
The bottom-line, she added, is to make sure that U.S. citizens are the priority for any job vacancy, and to be able to do that, “we need to train them well.”
 The bottom line is that it is illegal to give U.S. citizens priority. Someone needs to clue in the deputy secretary and vice speaker.


Kaipat also suggested that employers won't re-advertise "vacant" positions.  Do they have to do this under federal law or can they simply renew the foreign worker by completing proper paperwork?

Here is what federal law says regarding U.S. citizen job preference and job discrimination:

Title VII

Title VII prohibits not only intentional discrimination, but also practices that have the effect of discriminating against individuals because of their race, color, national origin, religion, or sex.

National Origin Discrimination

It is illegal to discriminate against an individual because of birthplace, ancestry, culture, or linguistic characteristics common to a specific ethnic group.

A rule requiring that employees speak only English on the job may violate Title VII unless an employer shows that the requirement is necessary for conducting business. If the employer believes such a rule is necessary, employees must be informed when English is required and the consequences for violating the rule.

The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires employers to assure that employees hired are legally authorized to work in the U.S. However, an employer who requests employment verification only for individuals of a particular national origin, or individuals who appear to be or sound foreign, may violate both Title VII and IRCA; verification must be obtained from all applicants and employees.

Employers who impose citizenship requirements or give preferences to U.S. citizens in hiring or employment opportunities also may violate IRCA.

Additional information about IRCA may be obtained from the Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices at 1-800-255-7688 (voice), 1-800-237-2515 (TTY for employees/applicants) or 1-800-362-2735 (TTY for employers) or at http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/osc.

These announcements and statements that support breaking federal law are becoming quote common place and quite tiresome. Why can't the USDOJ or USDOL investigate the CNMI DOL and put a stop to this type of announcement or at least publicly refer them to the law?

15 comments:

Captain said...

While I agree on what you say, there is one thing that the Feds require when/if these present CW are hired under a work visa such as the "H" visa system.
Is it not correct? That the employer must take all measure to ensure that there are no US workers available for the job required and the hire "visa" worker is only allowed to work on the specific trade and conditions that they were hired for?
Pls correct me if I am wrong.
I am assuming that these rehires (uh vacancies) will be under the same or "mirror conditions as they are hired now and not under a Fed" work visa"

Anonymous said...

"Immigrants must learn English." - President Obama

Although employers cannot discriminate a potential employee based on Citizenship, US Citizens certainly are and should be at the front of the line.

English is our National language, period. Workers who cannot speak or read English pose a serious liability to the business and those around them. Reading warning signs, talking to Doctors, police and 911 dispatch should be a duty that all employee should be able to carry out.

You've come out to help workers that are cheated by their employers - a very noble cause. You now defend their jobs, 'massage therapist', 'house maid', etc. Make up your mind.

Anonymous said...

Why not? If she can get replacement for me in this job, go ahead! I'm tired of her, I am no longer scared to lose this job. I realized that when I decided to stay here, I lost my career, I lost my productive years for nothing. Find someone to replace me here, I'm doing the books of the whole company for $5.05/hr, I'm also the administrative asst and customer service rep. I also send my boss's children to school and sometimes help them with their homework, and lot more extra/unrelated work. No other benefits! Yes, it's time for us to go back to our homeland. We're older now with nothing but hoping that it's not too late to go home. It's stupid to stay here!!People here are bitter and don't know how to appreciate good things. CWs,let's all go home!

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about 10:19?

Anonymous said...

Captain,

You pointed out correctly th section of the H process that requires them to prove no US Citizens are available. Therefore when they hire an H-Visa worker they have checked already that no US workers were available.

There is a fallacy with the way you use that information though. It appears you are thinking that because that process exists prior to hiring an H worker, Cinta should be allowed to now check if US citizens are available for filled non-resident worker positions in the CNMI. That is not good logic because a crucial piece is being left out (ironically it directly involves Cinta and her Department).

If you are likening this to the H-Worker situation then lets look at that. If an H worker is hired and employed that would mean that means were employed to verify that no US citizen was available. Once hired one can not go and remove them as soon as a US citizen does become available. It doest work that way. There is a concern for the well being of the H-Worker they are not a commodity, thus the strict immigration regs that were put in place to keep that from becoming the case.

That being said, let us now look at the non-resident workers in the CNMI and this argument by Cinta (backed up by you) that now that US citizens are available they should replace the non-residents that are legally already in the CNMI and have been for years.

The failed logic is based on the incorrect assumption that the same exact check for US citizens available was NOT done prior to hiring the non-resident CNMI workers. It should have been. Our own CNMI had the same strict guidelines in place to ensure that US citizens were given priority and all measures were taken to find US citizens prior to hiring a non-resident worker.

What is ironic is that Cinta in making her argument is also stating publicly that she was asleep at the wheel for years while DOL had control of overseeing that section of our law.

Where was she and her drums 5 or 10 years ago? Why was she not tallying up the available jobs and doling them out to US citizens at that time? We had FULL control over labor and immigration. Why did it take an act of congress to have her all of a sudden wake up and care about the employment of her US citizen brethren?

CNMI non-resident workers that are currently in the CNMI are here legally. In stating that they have already been through (or should have by law) the rigorous process of ensuring that there was not a line of US citizens waiting to fill their positions.

So when the feds took over and RECOGNIZED the CNMI statuses for non-resident workers they took into account our own laws which CINTA and DOL were responsible for that state that US citizens HAD been given preference and searched for prior to the hiring or renewals. Since that takeover, those non-residents now have legal status to remain in the CNMI up until Nov 2011 and perhaps/hopefully even longer.

Cinta can not try and change that by throwing out current non=resident statistics but if what she is saying she believes whole heartedly, then she should step down based on failure to have done her job while DOL was regulating foreign workers in the past.

Cinta,

Where were you when the CNMI had control of immigration? You were in labor sleeping. You were not trying to place US citizens because there was too much money to be eared in the foreign worker market. That has now dried up so it is time to focus on "the locals" now, huh?

So f'ing sad!

Anonymous said...

English is not the national language of the CNMI, and it is we English-speakers who are the immigrants here. If you already know one of the local languages, I'm be happy to listen to your opinion on what linguistic feats others should attempt. If you don't, I would advise you to just be grateful the locals make it so easy for you to get by in such ignorance.

The Saipan Blogger said...

I've heard that the massage therapists aren't just massage therapists.

Anonymous said...

I read that story with disbelief. Half of what she said had no basis in law. A good part of the other half is in total violation of the law.

Did Kaipat fall asleep three years ago and just awake today? Maybe someone should clue her in to the new reality.

Anonymous said...

The steady crew of haoles who like to hear themselves talk and have inane solutions for any big problem in the CNMI have spread from the Marianas Variety comment sections to this otherwise worthwhile blog.

Anonymous said...

12:30 the comments here are valid. Cinta proposed breaking federal law! I am a Filipino, not a haole.

Anonymous said...

"Inane solutions" referred to 8:54 and 10:19. The retinue of online-commentor know-it-alls gets tiring, and I hope that the comments here don't descend to the same level as those on Marianas Variety. Otherwise we'll be swimming in brilliant and always-hilarious quips about "islas de los ladrones," innovative calls to "get tough on crime," and ever-gushing praise for Tony Pellegrino. Save it for Marianas Variety or the barstool at Godfathers, not here.

captain said...

11:59, Thanks for the clarification.
I did not phrase my comment correctly. I was referring to if in the case these workers would have to be rehired under the Fed. "visa" system at the expiration of the "umbrella" permits and not as an extension or renewal of their present "legal" employment status.
Would their (worker) status change and an employer have to justify the non availability of US worker to rehire the workers for their present position (or replace) employee under the "H" system?

I also seriously doubt that there will be many US Cit.willing to work in private sector jobs for minimum wages, short of a mass RIF in the NMI Govt.workforce.
Also most of the jobs listed would not, at this time, even be considered by the "local" workforce.
I also agree with your comments on DOL, Cinta has been a joke from the beginning.
A position specifically created to put her someplace for a paycheck (the whole Dept, from DOLI time is/has been only self serving for a specific group)

Anonymous said...

11:59, you are wrong in thinking that USCIS will assume that all CNMI Foreign National Workers underwent the same scrutiny as H-visa applicants. Nor will USCIS assume CNMI "consulates" did background checks on guest workers.

That's why the feds took over. They have to start from the beginning of the process. Congress wanted to phase out or minimize the presence of Foreign National Workers in the CNMI.

The laws Wendy is citing apply to aliens who have been admitted to the USA and issued work visas. They do not apply to aliens who have not yet been issued visas!

Parole in place is not the same as visa issuance and does not entitle guest workers priority over over U.S. citizens.

Given the state of the CNMI economy, exacerbated by federalization, the wise guest workers are following the example above and looking for greener pastures.

It's not your money! said...

The state of the CNMI economy exacerbated bt federalization is like the state of a bacterial infection exacerbated by penicilin.

Anonymous said...

2:44 It would seem that if any of us was to go and hang out at the "Godfathers" we would be subject to same old lame excuses ideas and rhetoric from the past on how America, the white man and every other nationality that came to this place, screwed it up for the "locals" along with what is wrong and how to fix it, from you and the likes of Stanley and others that have the lack of foresight and intelligence to see beyond the edge of their glass. As in relation to the Godfather's we have an option of not venturing there and subject ourselves to that type of worthless dribble. Same as you have the option not to visit this site (or MVariety) and read any of the statements or articles that or posted. Happy Holidays!