Unfair dismissal if employer refuses H-1B sponsorship?

I’m currently working as a social worker on Optional Practical Training (after completing my Masters on F-1). I started at the job “per diem” on a 3 month probationary period, then the company made me “full time” after the 3 months. As the time drew nearer for H-1B applications I asked the company to sponsor me for H-1B. My boss said yes, but HR said they had to get the final OK from the company’s corporate office. The corporate office then refused to sponsor me saying they have not sponsored any internationals since the 1990s and have no interest in doing so in the near future. Therefore they say I cannot continue working for them past the expiry date of my OPT EAD card - expires June 30th 2014.

Can this be seen as unfair dismissal? Also it seems discriminatory to reject me because "they have no interest in hiring internationals".

Please let me know your thoughts on this. 

Thank you

This is rather unfortunate but your employer is protected. The term ‘internationals’ is derogatory but fact remains that after your EAD expires, your employer can state that you were let go because of I-9 ineligibility which can be upheld in a court of law. This happens all the time when employers draw a blank when it comes to understanding visa scenarios. Since your boss is ok with it but HR is getting cold feet, can you tell your boss that you will hire your own lawyer to file for H-1B? And that all HR needs to do is cooperate with the lawyer. Will that be okay?

All the best

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

Thank you for your reply. Yes I did initially say my own immigration lawyer could file the paperwork for them so it would be simple, but the corporate office were still not interested. I suppose they think it is just easier and cheaper to replace me with a US citizen. But that is frustrating because the H-1B fees are really not that expensive for a company to pay.