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adathavale

H1 Transfer - changed my mind, company asks to pay attorney and other fees

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I accepted an offer at a company (Company B) and they started my visa processing. It is still in progress under premium. I eventually changed my mind and decided to stay back at my current company. When I informed the new company about my decision, they asked me to pay the attorney fees and 'training fees'. I had not signed any document with any clause which mandates me to pay anything if I change my mind. Now, I do understand that it might be ideal/ethical to pay them voluntarily for the attorney expenses they incurred, but they are asking me to pay an amount thrice of the attorney fees which includes the aforementioned training fees. My question is are they in their rights to ask me for this amount under any USCIS rules/law? Can they also charge me for anything other than attorney fees? What happens if I do not pay anything, can they initiate collections/litigation against me - even though there is nothing in writing signed by me? Thanks in advance!

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The company can not demand such fees.

File a complaint with DOL on form WH4.

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They are asking for only attorney fees, not H1b filing fees which implies they know the laws already. I’m sure you might have signed an employment acceptance letter or checked I accept button online when you gave consent to them to initiate the H1b petition and transferred your details to them.

make sure you haven’t missed to read any fine print that allows them to claim the reimbursement.

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7 hours ago, cap-gap said:

They are asking for only attorney fees, not H1b filing fees which implies they know the laws already. I’m sure you might have signed an employment acceptance letter or checked I accept button online when you gave consent to them to initiate the H1b petition and transferred your details to them.

make sure you haven’t missed to read any fine print that allows them to claim the reimbursement.

Thanks for the response. They are asking for attorney fees and other expenses which I believe are related to USCIS filing. If there is no contract or if they are not able to provide the signed document with any contractual clause mandating me to pay them after refusal even after asking, can they legally demand 1. attorney fees or 2. USCIS related fees (including premium processing). If yes, then can they legally file a case against me? If no and they are still persisting, can I file a labor case in DOL? 

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23 hours ago, JoeF said:

The company can not demand such fees.

File a complaint with DOL on form WH4.

Thanks for the response! I am assuming that also means that they cannot file any litigation against me..  If they keep asking, should I just refuse to pay?

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2 hours ago, adathavale said:

Thanks for the response! I am assuming that also means that they cannot file any litigation against me..  If they keep asking, should I just refuse to pay?

Anybody can file a lawsuit. Winning it is a different thing... Defending yourself can get expensive.

Discuss your situation with a good immigration lawyer.

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If you agreed to work for them then changed your mind, the company might recover the damage from you.

But if the company laid off you, you don't need to pay anything.

According to law, the company has to pay the application fee. But certainly, it can recover from you if you misrepresented during the interview.

It is not the application fee they asked you to pay, but the damage for breaching of the employment contract.

Edited by Halley

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On 4/2/2018 at 10:00 PM, Halley said:

It is not the application fee they asked you to pay, but the damage for breaching of the employment contract.

Can you and someone explain the word "Damage" here ? 

What are typical claims by employer as "Damage" ?

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5 hours ago, uschamarathimanus said:

Can you and someone explain the word "Damage" here ? 

What are typical claims by employer as "Damage" ?

A company can ask for "liquidated damages" in case of breach of contract. This is a legal term, it basically means expenses they had for training, or if they have a contract to place you at some client, but can't fulfill that contract because you quit, etc.

But unless you have started working there, there can't be any such damages. They apparently don't have H1 petition approval, so you are not even legally able to enter into an employment contract with them. And without employment contract no liquidated damages.

They also can claim lawyer fees and H1 petition fees as business expenses on the company tax returns.

Edited by JoeF

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On 4/4/2018 at 7:20 PM, JoeF said:

A company can ask for "liquidated damages" in case of breach of contract. This is a legal term, it basically means expenses they had for training, or if they have a contract to place you at some client, but can't fulfill that contract because you quit, etc.

But unless you have started working there, there can't be any such damages. They apparently don't have H1 petition approval, so you are not even legally able to enter into an employment contract with them. And without employment contract no liquidated damages.

They also can claim lawyer fees and H1 petition fees as business expenses on the company tax returns.

There was an offer and acceptance here. The employment contract was already binding.  Even if the contract was not binding, the employer already  acted in reliance on that.   I don't see why the employer can't claim contract damage on the contract  or reliance damage.  Unless this was not happened in US, before signing any documents, be sure to know the legal consequences.

Edited by Halley

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