I signed an agreement with my employer that says I have to reimburse the company for all H1B expenses if I leave within a set amount of time. Is this legal? Can they sue me if I refuse to pay?


An employer cannot impose a “penalty” against an employee who leaves the company before the end of the H1B term. Employers can, however, include a “liquidated damages” clause in an employment contract to recover certain expenses. The federal regulations explain that “The distinction between liquidated damages (which are permissible) and a penalty (which is prohibited) is to be made on the basis of the applicable State law.” In short, it would be best to speak with an employment attorney in your state to review the contract and determine whether it is enforceable. (30.Mar.2015)

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