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Worked, now refused payment as work permit has expired

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I was short-term employed on a J1 visa (visiting researcher), and unfortunately it took me until the grace period (30 days after the work permit ends) to get a bank account and social security number. Now my employer says they can't pay for ANY of the work I did because my work permit has expired!

Besides resenting myself for not sorting out my salary payment on time - what would be my next steps to get my salary? Does anybody know if my employer is right? Do I need a lawyer?


(please move if wrong forum)

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