In Matter of Karl Storz Endoscopy-America [BALCA Case No. 2011-PER-00040 (December 1, 2011)], the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals (BALCA) defined when recruitment "begins" for purposes of the PERM prevailing wage determination validity provision at 20 CFR 656.40(c).

That provision states that "To use a prevailing wage rate provided by the NPC, employers must file their applications or begin the recruitment required by §§ 656.17(e) or 656.21 within the validity period specified by the NPC."

BALCA found that for purposes of this provision, recruitment "begins" with the initiation of the first recruitment step in time taken by the employer, and that if the PERM application is not filed during the validity of the PWD, then that first recruitment step must have been initiated during the validity of the PWD. BALCA rejected the employer's argument that the regulation requires only one of the mandatory recruitment steps to have been initiated during the PWD validity period.