H1B Employer (Desi Consultant) Harrassing and threatening

I came to the US on H1B visa with company X. Desi consulting company turned out to be a bunch of blood suckers who started exploiting and harassing me from the very first day.

  1. They recruited me for an in-house project and told me to search another project AFTER I landed in the US as the in-house project is on hold. They DELAYED my joining by 15 days telling that I legally have 30 days to join them (Is this true?) so they will make me join as soon as I find a project. No paper work provided and all was verbal.

  2. Being technically sound, I found a project very next day and the client is ready to hire through company X (1 more layer present in between Client  Prime Vendor Company X). Background check and other formalities are required which will be completed in a week so I will start working within 15 days of entering the US on H1B. Was I out of status for these 15 days?

  3. Company X is harassing at each and every step. They committed that they will share the per hour billing rate at 80% - 20% but started saying that they will share only at 70 % - 30 % when I got a project with a good rate.

  4. I conveyed that I do not want to go ahead with this scam and want to go back to my home country India they have threatened to file a law suit against me and my family for breaching the “Service Agreement with something called a Non-Compete Clause” which I signed last year when they were filing H1B for me and my spouse. They say that I will have to serve them for a year other will have to pay $50000.

  5. Lastly they are not ready to return the security deposit $ 5000 which they collected through check in the name of the company last year while filing my and my spouses H1B. We came to the US counting on this money and now struggling for survival and getting money from our parents in India.

  6. I have recorded many calls in which they are talking about the illegal deeds they carry out and are suggesting me to do the same.

Please suggest what I do? I am hoping that I start working with the client in the coming week and was not out of status during this time.

I plan to start searching and switch to a full time better job as soon as I start working with the client thru company X. But not sure if I MUST serve them for an year and cannot compete in court as I signed “non compete agreement”. Please suggest guys we are very close to a nervous breakdown.

As far as i know bonds or agreements done for H1 are not valid by Employer. Please consult any attorney

I am so sorry to hear about this situation. In 2001 October, many software consultants here on H-1B visa sponsored by recruiter firms went out of status because the companies went belly up, margins evaporated and projects terminated. Many consultants complained to Department of Labor and they in turn involved FBI in a nationwide study. Let me summarize your situation and action steps.

  1. Your H-1B sponsor has no rights to prevent your movement within USA, it is prohibited by law. They threaten because you are a cash cow for them.

  2. If you go legal, Department of Labor and FBI will be involved. US law is not your friend nor your company’s. You are both parties to an action and they will conduct interviews on both sides. Nothing will come out of it and this can drag for 1+ years. Nobody will get punished and in the worst scenario, the company will attract a fine.

  3. Your situation is slightly vulnerable so be careful. I suggest continuing in the 70-30 relationship until you have stabilized yourself financially. You can’t fight two battles (employer exploitation and going out of status) at the same time.

  4. I know it is difficult but one advice from ancient India - do not rock the boat you are sitting in. Do this when you are sure dry land is near or water is not deep any longer.

With best wishes and blessings

Dr. Sandeep Shankar, Colorado Heights University, Denver, CO 80223, USA. www.chu.edu, sshankar@chu.edu


Can you please share your experience on what you did?

Did you continued working for them or did you complain about them to DOL?

I see so many questions in all the forums but no one replies once he /she has gone through the issue.

Please help others facing same issue by responding your experience.

Hi I am in similar situation as you explained. what you did to handle the employer? Now my employer is also asking for $50,000 to pay them as i did not complete my 1year contract with them. Please suggest.