Can employer ask H1B liquidated damages in my scenario?

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Hello Team,


I came to US on H1B. I have a one year contract ($15000) with my employer if I leave before that. But due to the following I have planned to leave him:

1.       When I came to U.S., he asked me to search for a project and said that salary will only start if I get a project. He said that I won’t work with the client mentioned in LCA.

2.       I came to U.S. on 22nd December and got a project till 16 January. He gave me first salary on 15th Feb but the paystub was dated 16th to 31st Jan (so I’m not sure which period salary I should consider that as to me I got salary late irrespective of the paystub date).

3.       Now, I’m getting salary semi-monthly regurlarly but once I’m not on project gain he will stop salary till I get different client/project.

4.       The above points are nowhere in written.


Now, if I leave them and go for H1B transfer, can they file a legal case against me as I have signed the contract?




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On H1, you have to get paid all the time, even if you don't have a project. That's the law. File a complaint with DOL on form WH4.

Also, it can be argued that not paying is a violation of the contract and that means you would not be bound by it.

But in any case, have the contract checked by an immigration lawyer and a labor lawyer.

And next time, don't sign such a contract.

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Your employer is a fraud. He has to pay you as long as he is sponsoring you H1B visa. There is nothing like bond in USA. You can file a complaint to DOL on WH4 form regarding this. Regardless you have a project or not he has to pay you salary until he revokes your visa. Your employer has to notify you if he is going to revoke your visa. You should find a new employer who can sponsor you visa.

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Thanks all for your valuable suggestions. Should I hire an attorney before only or if he files case?

You don't need an attorney. Once you file a complaint to DOL, you will receive a call from them and a couple of officers will ask you questions regarding your employment. Later they will appoint an investigator and you need to communicate with her/him. If your employer makes an agreement and settles for lesser amount with DOL, take it or else they are going to appeal the case and it may take for years. It will take up to 1 year depending on the cases DOL has.  I suggest you to find a new employer or return back to India.

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