So did the new H-1B employer file a porting application with USCIS? You bridged the gap in so far as moving from company A, then leaving A, file for change of status to H-4, but remains pending so now you should file for H-1B premium with the new employer and once you get the approval start work for the new employer. They may send you overseas for consular processing but sometimes since only short gap they also may approve the porting application. LCA the new employer must furnish you with a copy and pay you the minimum wage as indiciated on the LCA. The $10,000 penalty doesn't sound kosher to me and anyhow, how will they enforce it? They would have to sue you and the legal cost and hassle may outweight the cost/benefit analysis to them. How will they even collect from you? You may be judgment proof unless your independently wealthy.