Vendor threatening to sue/hold pay after H1B resignation

I have been working for my current employer since Dec’19. Before I joined I confirmed that they were a preferred vendor as I did not want to work for C2C. Once I signed the employment agreement, and started working with client, on the first day I found out that they lied and it in fact is C2C. They also disclosed one office address, but instead the client now has me sitting at one location, some days and another location other days.

I felt cheated and deceived and started to look for other opportunities. Thankfully I found something and put in my 2 weeks notice this Monday, 2/24. They (my employer) called me and said they paid hefty fees for my visa filing etc and that I cannot leave so soon. I mentioned that they cheated me, to which they threatened to sue. They also responded to my resignation email, declining my resignation and said they will be preferred vendors next time my visa is applied for extension.

Shortly there after they recalled that email and sent a new one saying, I will be responsible for onboarding costs. I read over the employment agreement and no where does it state such terms; just that I need to give proper notice. I responded stating same, that as per agreement I gave you proper notice and it will be illegal for them to ask me to pay H1B fess etc.

To continue to harass me, in their next response they have now changed my salary saying: “your annual salary has been revised to … (Based on your LCA salary) wef 2/1/2020. Your payroll will be run accordingly”

Can they do this? As per the signed employment agreement, we agreed to a salary but they can change it whenever to whatever amount without cause and prior infomation? and worst of set an older date? I know they picked that date because they pay monthly. But this doesn’t seem legal? What would be the purpose of an employment agreement then. What should my course of action be now? Please help!

Hi @bajanu

Legally, they are obligated to pay you salary as mentioned in LCA.

The other point is about the employment agreement between you and them and the agreed salary. For this, you can enforce them to pay the agreed amount but may have to go to court if they don’t agree with words.

You have a good case. Just reply to the email by citing the employment contract and clearly mentioning that you cannot change salary with back date.

As per my opinion, these emails can be produced in court as a proof against your employer.

Also, clearly mention in the email that if they change the salary in next payroll, you will sue them. They are probably just trying to threaten you and see if you do anything or not.

I think legally employee is not suppose to pay for the h1-b filling. DOL takes it very seriously if employer does that(See link below for details). I feel he is just threatening you to get back the money.

As Anil stated, you can use the email as your proof and legally he will not be able to take any actions against you. Even if he does he may not be able to win the case.

Can an H1B employer force the employee to pay USCIS and attorney fees? - Hacking Law Practice, LLC..

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Hi @Anil.Gupta

Thank you for your response. I have responded to them and hopefully they will put an end to this shakedown.

@Abhinay_Irukulla yes, that’s why they “revise” my salary to make it appear that they are not technically asking me to pay for H1B fees.

Hi Abhinay I was in similar situation last year.

They would initially threaten but there is no legal action they can take. I would suggest to reply saying you would complain to DOL.

Most probably they would pay you but if you feel they really cheated with false claims it would be better to complain with DOL.

You can call DOL and they have a form and you can send screenshots of email as proof. This will infact help others in future from getting cheated as well.

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