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srinivas.akyana

Regarding Employment Agreement in WA State

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Hello,

 

I am currently working for Employer A and I have a good offer from Employer B who's ready to offer me other benefits as well. However, I did sign on an Offer Letter (not notarized, a Word document) which says If I were to leave my Employer A within 12 months then I'll be required to reimburse my Employer A the processing costs of my H1B Visa which is no less than $7,000 within 30 days of the end of employment.

 

I did go through few places online and it says, WA state has "at will" so I don't need to pay anything to Employer A however since I am signed the Offer Letter, I wanted to ensure that do I need to pay for my Employer A?

 

Request you to please help me.

 

Thanks! 

 

Srinivas 

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It is illegal for an employer to demand a penalty for leaving a job before an agreed-upon date.

20 CFR 655.731.

Note that liquidated damages are allowed.

You should discuss your particular situation with a good immigration lawyer.

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The costs of the H1B filing are considered to be the employer's costs, and immigration law does not allow for penalties for ending employment before the expiration of the H1 petition. Immigration law does allow genuine damages (not penalties), so the issue when ever such things arise is whether the amount of money is a penalty or not. That is why employers usually reference various other "investments" in the individual, such as recruitment and training, and not just the H1B costs.

 

This should be reviewed by an employment law attorney in the state which governs the agreement (that is usually mentioned in the agreement). Make sure that the attorney is also familiar with the immigration restrictions on penalties.

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The costs of the H1B filing are considered to be the employer's costs, and immigration law does not allow for penalties for ending employment before the expiration of the H1 petition. Immigration law does allow genuine damages (not penalties), so the issue when ever such things arise is whether the amount of money is a penalty or not. That is why employers usually reference various other "investments" in the individual, such as recruitment and training, and not just the H1B costs.

 

This should be reviewed by an employment law attorney in the state which governs the agreement (that is usually mentioned in the agreement). Make sure that the attorney is also familiar with the immigration restrictions on penalties.

Thank you, that's helpful! 

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