- To obtain TAA reemployment services and benefits a group of workers must first file a petition with the U.S Department of Labor's Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) requesting certification as workers adversely affected by foreign trade. Once a complete petition is filed, the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance (OTAA) initiates an investigation to determine whether a group of workers meets the group eligibility requirements. If the worker group meets the group eligibility criteria, a group eligibility certification will be issued. This certifies that the workers of the group are eligible to apply for Trade Adjustment Assistance benefits.
- After a group certification is issued, each worker in the group must then individually apply for services and benefits through their local American Job Center. TAA case managers at the local American Job Center will issue a determination of the workers' individual eligibility for TAA benefits.
Who may file a petition?
A petition may be filed by any of the following: a group of three or more workers, an employer of a group of workers, a Union, a State Workforce Official, a American Job Center Operator/Partner, or another Duly Authorized Representative. OTAA will initiate an investigation when a complete petition is filed by any of these parties.
Assistance in preparing a petition
Petitioners may request assistance in preparing the petition at their local American Job Center which may be located by calling 1-877-US2-JOBS, (TTY) 1-877-889-5627, or visit the America's Service Locator website at http://www.servicelocator.org. Petitioners may also contact the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, D.C. at 202-693-3560 or 1-888-365-6822.
Submitting a Petition
The petition form should be signed by the three workers in the worker group, employers, Union Official, State Workforce Official, American Job Center Operator/Partner or Duly Authorized Representative who are filing the petition. When a group of three workers is filing the petition, all three workers must sign the petition.
Once signed, the petition must be submitted to both the Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance in Washington, D.C. and to the relevant state workforce agency.
Decisions on TAA Petitions
After accepting a complete petition, OTAA will initiate an investigation to determine whether the group of workers covered by the petition meets the group eligibility requirements of the Trade Act. This investigation may include contacting the workers' firm to collect data, contacting customers of the workers' firm, the petitioners, unions, Cooperating State Agencies, or other sources of relevant information as needed. The steps required to complete an investigation vary according to the circumstances specific to the worker's firm. Please click here to see an example of a Business Data Request (BDR).
If the workers are found to meet the group eligibility criteria set by the Trade Act, OTAA will issue a certification of group eligibility.
Certification of Petitions
If the eligibility requirements have been met OTAA will issue the worker group a decision titled:
"Certification Regarding Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance."
Generally the certification covers all members of the worker group who are separated or threatened with separations during the period beginning one year before the petition was filed and ending two years after the date of the certification. Each certification describes the worker group and specifies the beginning and ending dates.
Denial of Petitions
If, after investigation, OTAA determines that the eligibility requirements are not met, OTAA will issue the worker group a "Negative Determination Regarding Eligibility to Apply for Worker Adjustment Assistance." A negative determination denies workers certification of eligibility to apply for TAA services and benefits.
Workers who are denied eligibility to apply for TAA may: 1) request administrative reconsideration of the determination; 2) seek judicial review of the determination; and/or 3) seek for reemployment services from other programs such as those available through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act's Dislocated Worker program also available through local American Job Center.
Notification of Certification or Denial
After making a determination on group eligibility, OTAA will notify the petitioners, the workers' firm, and State agency of the determination. In addition, the determination will be posted on the TAA website and published in the Federal Register. If a group of workers is certified eligible to apply for TAA, the Cooperating State Agency will then notify individual workers of the certification and provide information about benefits.
How to Challenge a Petition Denial
Determinations on Trade Adjustment Assistance petitions are published in the Federal Register, the official daily publication for Rules, Proposed Rules, and Notices of Federal organizations. Workers who are denied certification may request administrative reconsideration from OTAA. Requests for reconsideration must: 1) be in writing; 2) include the TAA investigation number; 3) be signed; and 4) describe the group of workers included in the petition. Requests must also cite reasons why the workers consider the denial erroneous according to the facts, the interpretation of the facts, or the law itself. Reconsideration requests must be filed with OTAA within 30 days of Federal Register publication and may be emailed, mailed, or faxed to:
United States Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Office of Trade Adjustment Assistance
200 Constitution Avenue N.W.
Washington DC 20210
Workers who are denied certification may seek judicial review of OTAA's initial determination or determination following administrative reconsideration. Appeals for judicial review must be filed with the Case Management Supervisor, U.S Court of International Trade, One Federal Plaza, New York, New York 10007, (212) 264-1611. Appeals must be filed within 60 days of Federal Register publication of the initial denial or administrative reconsideration denial.