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The law on reimbursing of expenses is based upon the prevailing wage determination associated with H-1B petitions. The law requires that the employer must pay the employee a wage that is set by the Department of Labor so that lower paid H-1B workers are not displacing U.S. workers.
It appears that the reimbursement is a “penalty for ceasing employment” and the employer may not be able to recover such fees as you described. But since an action was filed in court, you should consult a local attorney.
In some rare circumstances though, an employer may receive “liquidated damages” from an H-1B nonimmigrant who leaves the company so that the payment is viewed as a true reimbursement for the time and money spent by the company. These circumstances depend on how the damages are classified in the immigration context (e.g. legal fees or filing fees) and also on the facts and circumstances and whether the judge will view the damages as permissible. They would also have to have signed a contract that stated that they could seek the fees paid to you, if you leave employment prior to a certain date.
If they already sued you in court you have to file an answer to the summons. For this, you should hire a local attorney to represent you in court. If you don’t answer the summons a default judgment could be taken against you in the court.
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