Accounting Employer fails to dot his i’s and owes fired H1B worker $165K+ in back wages

The OALJ  Judge’s decision set forth the following:

“Ganze & Co. (Ganze) made a labor condition application with two inherent components, and wants to ignore half of what it did. Its primary focus was to have a worker. Because Limanseto, the Prosecuting Party, never did its work during the application‘s three year term, it bridles at the suggestion it should pay him a dime. But then there is the immigration half of the story, the half that requires Ganze to pay, with no offsets.”

“The H-1B visa didn‘t make Limanseto an indentured servant. Both he and Ganze remained free to end the relationship that served as the basis for his immigration status; when it ended, both had to deal with the consequences. The parties agree, and I find, that about six weeks before the October 1, 2008 start date its labor condition application had proposed—on August 14, 2008—Ganze ―ended the employment relationship. That part of Ganze‘s proof may be sufficient to end the employment under state law, but won‘t suffice to end its federal liability.”

“The Department also observed that the employer, at any time, may terminate the employment of the worker, notify INS, and pay the worker‘s return transportation, thereby ceasing its obligations to pay for non-productive time under the H–1B program.”

The court found that even the employer fired the employee,   because the employer failed to inform INS of the termination and did not pay the H1B employee’s fare back to the home country, his obligation to pay wages did not terminate at the time of firing. The Court also ordered the employer to pay back the original cost of obtaining the H1B visa to the fired employee.

The court ordered:

It is ordered that within 30 days:

1. Ganze must pay the Administrator for distribution to Limanseto back wages from October 1, 2008 at the rate of $25.30 per hour for 40 hours per week, payable monthly, for 154.5774 weeks;

2. Ganze must pay the Administrator for distribution to Limanseto $1,500 to reimburse Limanseto for what he paid in March 2008 as legal fees associated with preparing the labor condition application and form I-129Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker;

3. Ganze must pay pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest on these amounts at the Federal Short Term Interest rate plus 3%, as specified in 26 U.S.C. § 6621, compounded quarterly.

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