DOL Memo on Roving Employees Remains in Effect

Although the website for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) was recently updated to indicate that a key memorandum on roving employees was “canceled,” the DOL has since then confirmed that the memo remains in effect. The memo was written in 1994 by the then-Administrator for Regional Management for the DOL, Barbara Farmer, so it is commonly referred to as the “Farmer Memo.” The DOL has explained that the “canceled” designation on the website was simply due to a system update, and does not reflect any change in policy.

Roving Employees File PERM Based on Headquarters or Main Office

In applying for a labor certification, one of the pieces of information that must be provided on the ETA 9089 form is the location of the job. There are no regulations, however, that clarify how to input this information for a “roving employee” – that is, a position where the employer expects to reassign the employee to one or more as-yet-undetermined worksites, as is common among consulting firms.

The Farmer Memo fills this gap, instructing employers to list the headquarters (or main) location of the PERM-sponsoring employer and to indicate on the ETA 9089 that the employee may also be stationed at various unanticipated locations. The advertisements and other recruitment are done from the headquarters or main location, since there is no other work location that can be used to test the labor market with any specificity for roving employees.


Given how many abrupt, harsh changes have been made to immigration rules of late, any hint of a policy change can be cause for concern. Fortunately, this perceived change turned out to be a false alarm, and the Farmer Memo remains in effect.


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