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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Personal Injury Law
Satisfied Customers: 90969
Experience:  Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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My employers immigration law firm cited a computer glitch

Resolved Question:

My employer's immigration law firm cited a computer glitch or error on the part of the employer in my perm petition during the brief window when the green card dates became current in 2007. I kept asking them the status of my labor and then after one or two long months of asking, they said my labor was denied, and have to re apply. I lost the opportunity to file my I485 because they clearly did not want that to happen so they basically defrauded me. They knew that I would leave soon after I get my EAD if they had filed my I485 due to the high turn over rate in my department throughout the company. I'd like to know if I can sue both the employer and the law firm that was hired to handle the company's immigration cases.

Thanks,
Sonny.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Personal Injury Law
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

If you have proof that the employer and law firm failed to properly file your papers properly then you indeed can sue them. You are going to bear the burden of proving which one was the party that was negligent or if they were both equally negligent in failure to provide the proper documentation to renew your status thus causing you this huge financial loss. You will, of course, need a local attorney to pursue both of them and you will likely need a legal malpractice attorney to review the actions of the law firm to make certain they are a proper party and not just the employer.




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Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I was not expecting a personal injury attorney to answer the question. Therefore the answer is clearly not to my satisfaction.


 


But thanks anyway, I hope I was not charged the $30 for this.


 


Sonny.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response. I am not just a personal injury attorney, please do not be confused by the category where your question ended up. I am also an employment law attorney who represents employers with employees in your situation.

However, if you would like no further information I will wish you the best and close your question and you can just take the information already provided to you in good faith.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Sorry Paul, yeah the category did confuse me.


 


Now, you said you represent employers with employees in my situation. However, I was hoping for the reverse representing employees in my situation and what I need to pursue this, or may be you are the better one to tell me how employers think about it. I don't know. All I know is I was done wrong and I have paid an immense price.


 


But I can tell you this. That company had an insane turn over rate of engineers like me. They had done many H1Bs, green cards and many had also left them right after receiving green cards because of dirt low wages. The company and the law firm had already filed numerous green card labor petitions and were partners in crime, that is how I feel.


 


As soon as I was given the clearly suspicious and devastating reason that there was a computer glitch, (Really?!), I knew I lost the golden opportunity. I knew right away that the law firm and the company discussed internally on the best way to make my labor petition fail, or may be just give me a false reason. This type of a labor petition is not something they were doing for the first time just for me.


 


Since then I lost many better and higher pay opportunities, my wife has not been able to get work authorization due to the missed opportunity in the software industry, I have not been able to file my adjustment of status until now and almost every day for the past 6 years, I have endured a lot of mental torture and emotional pain in discussions with my wife. She has lost her most productive years and is now therefore lagging behind her peers and has suffered immense loss of self confidence and emotional pain.


 


There is not a day that goes by without us thinking how much better our lives would have been if only we had filed that I485. The only reason I waited so long is because I know they still hold my I140 petition, on the basis of which I am now finally filing my I485 on Aug 1st. So I am afraid to pursue any legal action before I get a green card.


 


I really need to sue them for the gross injustice (the company, the parent company now based in France and the law firm). I heard from other employees that the VP of engineering was a crook and a womanizer, adopted these kinds of illegal strategies and suppressed wages especially those of international stress engineering employees like me on temporary VISAs as a policy due to the high turn over rate.


 


I need to pursue this, for me and my family. I need help, Please!


 


Thanks,


Surya.


 

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

We sometimes have glitches where categories do not correctly appear on our screens so we do not know it is not in the right category.

Actually, getting the perspective from the employer's side is generally a good thing. Many employers do not do these things through intentional acts, it is from sheer negligence. When it is intentional, because they have a contractual obligation to you as an employee in most all of these cases, it would be coupled with an end of contract and termination issue that you did not describe.

Here you are describing what sounds like negligence and under law they had a duty to submit the paperwork properly and they were negligent in that duty, which makes them liable to you for the damages they have caused. Thus, your suit against them is in negligence and breach of contract.

One issue I just noticed in your response is that this happened 6 years ago, which is problematic from the CA law point of view because there is something in CA called a "statute of limitations," which is the time frame in which any legal cause of action must be filed in the court. Under CA law, you had 4 years since their breach of contract to file suit. HOWEVER, all is not completely over, since you being forced from the US can be deemed as grounds to delay the statute of limitations from running because it would have arguably prevented you from filing your suit as you were out of the country and this is the argument you now have to use to get a suit filed and ask the court to allow the suit "out of time" as you are beyond the 4 year breach of contract statute of limitations. It is solely discretionary to the court to decide to allow you to file out of time and the court will look at th matter under the issue of "fairness" and equity to allow you to file late based on your absence from the country.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Paul thanks for the response.


 


I understand that filing suit would actually follow after getting the detailed perspectives from both the employer and the law firm. Both were negligent at the very least. The employment offer had mentioned there is no contractual obligation, and both parties are at will to terminate.


 


I was never out of the country. However, the the employer is always able to withdraw my H1B and my I140 petitions if I make noise, which would have forced me to leave the country and in addition I would have lost my place in the line for the green card and everything I worked for. I believe these are all very valid reasons for my delay in filing suit and therefore get an exception to the statute of limitations in CA.


 


But it is not clear to me who I'd have to hire and where to begin, how much do such things cost at least for the initial legal inquiries to confirm that there was gross negligence. Can one attorney do this for me who is an immigration law and also an employment law attorney? I'd think in a state with one of the highest number of immigrants, these specialties should be common.


 


Sonny.


 

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Another question is if I am able to prove their negligence, what kind of compensation could I expect roughly?


 


Sonny.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

While your employment was at will, once they agreed to undertake a function involving your visa, they had the duty to perform it in a non-negligent manner and that is your claim here.

If you prove negligence, you would be entitled to all of the actual losses you can show you incurred as a result of their negligent conduct and also for the emotional distress suffered as a result (generally 2-3 times your actual damages).

You can get a local employment attorney who deals with immigration at the same sites used by other attorneys, http://www.martindale.com or http://www.hg.org and they generally will want at least a retainer of $2500 for this type of case and then depending on what they find they would take the case on at least a modified contingency basis (reduced hourly rate plus 20%-25% of what they recover for you) based on what they find when they get into your facts and evidence. There are attorneys who specialize in handling employment cases with visa issues.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

OK Paul thanks so much. I think it gives me a direction. But can you give me some pointers on how to choose a good attorney on those websites and in general? What if I cannot afford high fees?


 


Thanks,


Sonny.

Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your response.

The sites I gave you have attorneys who were reviewed not only by the site, but their peers as well. They list their experience and when you call you can ask them specifically about their visa experience with employers and employment.

I am afraid that all legal fees in the US are very expensive (that is why this site exists as sort of a pre-hiring of attorney site to give some insight to people as to whether or not they need a local attorney and the expense that comes with it). You are free to negotiate fees with the attorney and some will allow a payment plan, but most will not start work until the retainer is paid in full. It is just a product of the American legal system I am afraid.

Usually, legal aid will not assist in these cases and you are going to have to use a local employment/immigration attorney.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
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Experience: Licensed Attorney. Over 20 years experience in personal injury and law enforcement.
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