Two H-1B employees with H-1B visas have been awarded more than $291,000 in back pay, application fees and interest after their employer failed to allow them to work and to pay them. This ruling is a clear reminder to California employers and employees alike that immigrant workers with H-1B visas must be employed and receive payment.
California is a popular destination for Mexican immigrants who have received a green card and are able to legally live and work in the United States. Studies have found that the overwhelming majority of these immigrants hope to go on to become naturalized American citizens, but many of them never actually go on to take this step. Government data reveals that approximately 8.8 million green card holders have not applied for naturalization, and this is often blamed on the barriers that have been placed in their way.
Employers in California that are interested in hiring non-U.S. citizens for job positions in the United States will have to consider each candidate's visa eligibility. Identifying candidates who are more likely to be approved for work visas can save a company's human resources department a lot of time and expense.
As many California businesses and foreign employees know, the government limits the number of H-1B visas it will approve each year. This year, approximately 148,000 H-1B applications were denied, leaving some believing they didn't have another alternative. There are several alternate types of employment visas that may be an option, however.
Most California residents are likely aware that immigration has become a contentious issue in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election, and some candidates have called for changes in the law to prevent citizenship being granted automatically to the children of undocumented immigrants born in the United States. The political debate on this issue may foster a belief that having what the media refers to as an anchor baby is a way for immigrants to achieve legal residence in America quickly and easily, but immigration laws give few advantages to the parents of these children.