1. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: If you are considering a filing a wage complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), be aware that there is a one year deadline for filing. This means that in most situations, you have one year after ending your relationship with your employer (whether you are terminated or resign) in which the DOL allows you to file a wage complaint. A DOL complaint, although not always the best or strongest claim option, is nonetheless an important element among the options available. As such, it is important to consider this one year deadline when evaluating your H-1B legal rights.
2. CIVIL WAGE COMPLAINT: If your situation gives you the option to file a civil wage claim in court, that type of wage claim often has a two year deadline for claiming wages. This means that if you filed a civil complaint on January 1, 2010 that included this type of wage claim, you could only pursue the wage claim for unpaid wages dating back to January 1, 2008.
3. OTHER COMPLAINTS: Depending on your situation, there may be other claims available to you that have deadline periods longer than two years. For example, certain types of fraud claims (as opposed to wage claims described at 1. and 2 above) may apply to specific situations, and these fraud claims can have deadlines that extend to four years or more.
Ultimately, you need to be aware that important deadlines apply to your situation. It is wise to learn about the deadlines that apply to your specific facts as soon as possible so that you can preserve your legal rights and keep the best options open when you make your legal plans, ideally with the assistance of a qualified immigration and/or H-1B rights attorney.
Caution: Being aware of the deadlines that affect your H-1B rights does not mean that you should complain immediately to your employer about your unpaid wages or take immediate legal steps against the employer. If, for example, you are looking for a new H-1B employer to whom you wish to transfer your H-1B visa, it might make sense to delay taking legal action and accept that you may lose the ability to pursue certain legal damages due to approaching deadlines. Whatever your final strategy, it is best to make sure you know all the deadlines that apply to your situation so that you can make the best, well-informed decision.
For a free H-1B consultation with Attorney Van Wormer, please contact our office at (703) 244-6733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Important Note: The information provided on this blog is of a general nature and may not apply to any particular set of facts or under all circumstances. It should not be construed as legal advice and does not constitute an engagement of Van Wormer Law or establish an attorney-client relationship. No attorney-client relationship exists until Van Wormer Law has completed a conflicts check and the prospective client signs a representation agreement.