H-1B Employee Compensation Protections

Posted 9 months ago. 1 helpful vote


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.


Unequal Benefits

H-1B employees are entitled to benefits comparable to non-H-1B employees, which may include, medical insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, etc.


Invalid Expenses

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.


Job Performance

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.

Additional Resources

If you are working in the U.S. as an H-1B employee and your employer has engaged in one or more of the above-mentioned practices, you should speak with immigration attorney to help you determine how to proceed. Since the regulations that govern the H-1B program are federal, the attorney does not need to be in your local area as long as the attorney has sufficient experience in the required areas. The consultation should include a discussion of the specific facts surrounding your employment and how you may recover the wages you are owed.

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