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KJL LAW, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 1603
Experience:  Attorney at law Office of KJLLAW
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I was working on an H1B visa with a company A in Chicago. I

Customer Question

I was working on an H1B visa with a company A in Chicago. I resigned before three years working for them and now they are claiming the expenses they did for me. Before coming to the USA they had sent me a contract and asked me to sign it and I signed it. When I came to the USA, they asked me to sign another employment contract and since I was already here I could not decline to sign it( I spent a lot of money to come here, I resigned my previous job, I sold everything I had). I had not been thinking of resigning until the company fired an employee just because they could not find a client for him. After that situation I did not feel comfortable with working for them and I replied a couple of e-mails I got from some recruiters. For somehow they found out that I was looking for a full time position, they called me for a meeting and they threatened me with withdrawing my visa status. So I felt so uncomfortable and unsafe. I accepted the offer I got and resigned. I want to get some advice about what I can do in this situation. I can send the contracts, the summon , the expenses they claim(Most of them are either false or related to H1B process or for some training they did not give)
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 12 months ago.
Do you have another H1B now
Customer: replied 12 months ago.
before I resigned from the ex company, my current company transferred my H1B visa. I do not have any problem with my visa.
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 12 months ago.

Hello and welcome to Just Answer. No attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site, the answers are for general information. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

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.

It was a pleasure assisting you today, and I would appreciate if you would rate my service, so I will receive credit and payment for my work. After you rate the question you can ask follow up questions, and you will not be charged any additional money for the follow-up questions.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I have a couple of questions.
- Do they have to prove the expenses they claim? Because most of them are either related to H1b process (As far as I know it is not legal to claim expenses for H1b process) or false (things they did not do such as they did not pay my utilities or rent. ).
- My vacation fees weren't paid to me when I resigned. Can I file that to DOL?
-There are two different contracts. One before I came to the USA and the second they forced me to sign when I came to the USA. Is that something I can file a complaint too?
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 12 months ago.

yes, the absolutely have to prove the expenses in court and the judge will decide if there is merit, You should file a DOL claim for the vacation pay not paid out under the contract, and the second contract would control. You could try and have the second contract thrown out because of "duress", but that would have to be a defense in court, the attorney of record would have to make the defense based upon the case and the judge. DOL would not address contract issues.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Would you review the contracts if I send you in private? What would you recommend for my initial reaction? To hire a lawyer and go it forward, to send a defend letter or to negotiate? Thanks
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 12 months ago.

You should have a local attorney look at the contracts because you need to hire an attorney to put in an answer, or risk going into default.

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I know and I will hire an attorney but I need some specific answers before hiring an attorney. That is why I created an account here and posted my questions. Otherwise it does not make sense to pay here.
Expert:  KJL LAW replied 12 months ago.

I don't have the time available to review documents of that length at the moment. Therefore, I am going to opt out to open your question up to all experts so another expert can hopefully timely help you with this review. Please do not respond to this post as it will only slow the process of such an expert picking up your question.