The H-1B program requires employers to comply with federal regulations, but this does not always occur. This can result in employees not being fully compensated and/or the employee being charged expenses for which the employer is obligated. Below are several examples of employer violations:
No Work or "Benching"
Employer does not have work or an assignment for employee, so employer decides to "bench" the employee or make the employee find an assignment or project and not the pay the employee during this period.
Different Type of Work
Employer does not have the right type of work for employee, so employer decides to pay employee a lesser wage or not at all.
Each job has a minimum wage requirement based on the profession and location, which is known as the "prevailing wage" and is used to calculate the wage on the LCA, so anything less than the wage on the LCA is underpayment.
H-1B employees are entitled to benefits comparable to non-H-1B employees, which may include, medical insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, etc.
Employers are not permitted to make unfair deductions from employee's wages for costs associated with the H-1B or visa application, rent, travel, etc.
Required Leave Forms
Employees are permitted to take voluntary leave, but the employer is not permitted to force the employee to sign a "voluntary" leave form to avoid paying wages to the employee.
Employers are not permitted to withhold wages based on claims that employee's performance was unsatisfactory.
Preventing Transfer to New Employer
Employers are not permitted to forbid employees from transferring to another employer or require the employee to pay a penalty for transferring.