Monday, November 26, 2012

Settled Foreign Worker LCA Complaint Against Former Employer

I recently negotiated a nice settlement agreement for a foreign employee based upon an alleged violation of his employer’s Labor Condition Agreement submitted on behalf of his I-129 application for H-1B status under the Immigration and Nationality Act, section 101(a)(15)(H). In the Labor Condition Application (LCA) Form ETA-9035 submitted to the U.S. Department of Labor, the petitioning employer certifies that they will pay the prevailing wage for the specialty occupation until they achieve a bona fide termination, which includes three elements as defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Administrative Law Judges. To effect a "bona fide" termination of an H-1B employee, the employer must: (1) properly terminate the employee under state law; (2) offer the employee return transportation costs home; and (3) notify the USCIS of the H-1B termination. In my complaint, the specialty worker alleged that he was not notified of his termination until he received actual notice of his H-1B status termination, thus Step 1 was never accomplished. The foreign national was assigned to a remote work site and was not notified that his status was being terminated until he was mailed the termination notification from USCIS. This case was very similar to another LCA violation claim that I prevailed in during our administrative hearing in front of the ALJ in the San Francisco Office. This case is presently on appeal to the ARB in Washington DC, but I fully expect to prevail on appeal. The ALJ’s decision can be found here.

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