The United States of America has laws that protect workers from abusive and unfair treatment. These laws are not only applicable to American citizens, but for immigrant workers as well. Knowing your rights, as well as your obligations is necessary. Here is a little guide to understand some of the most important points.
As a general rule, your Visa gives you permission to work only for the employer you listed on your visa application (your sponsor), but sometimes, depending on your visas conditions, you might be able to change employers.
Among others, your visa gives you the right:
To be paid at least the minimum wage.
Have a safe and healthy workplace.
Not to be subject to unlawful discrimination in employment
Join a union, if you wish to.
Not be held in a job against your will.
You also have the right to report violations of these rights
Receive protection under state and federal law.
Some of the most frequently asked questions are related to contractual obligation, meaning, what you should do when you are going to sign a contract or when you have already signed a contract.
If you are about to sign a contract, you should know a couple of things.
First. No employer can ask you to do or participate in anything illegal, that includes asking you to receive less money than you are entitled to.
Second. Contracts are subject to conditions that will be agreed by both which means that there might be some contingencies to them, and you have to compile to those contingencies.
Third. Do not sign anything you don’t understand. Sometimes contracts are written in a technical way and some information might be tricky. Lots of our clients ask us to review their contracts and sometimes we help them to negotiate their terms.
Last, but not least, if you already have signed a contract remember that:
The employer should not threaten to deport you or your family.
The employer cannot force you to stay in your job.
The employer also cannot abuse you in any way.
The employer should not restrict where you live or what you do outside the workplace
Also, the employer cannot deny payment for overtime
She or he also cannot keep any of your identification
The employer should not deny you food, sleep or medical attention.
Also (and unfortunately this is a frequent one) cannot lie about your working conditions or duties, housing or wage.
He or she cannot deny your rights and ability to get help.
If you suspect you are being a victim of any of these conditions, you should contact your lawyer. We are here not only to help you get your visa but to stand for your rights. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org