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Law360 Quotes Lynda Zengerle on H-1B Benching Issues

February 8, 2016

Law360 quoted Lynda Zengerle in a February 5 article titled “Three Tips For Dealing With Tricky H-1B Benching Issues.”  The article features advice from immigration attorneys on avoiding “benching” pitfalls.  Benching – or sidelining an H-1B worker without pay, or even with reduced pay – can lead to hefty penalties.

One tip to avoid benching pitfalls is to ensure firings are bona fide.  If an employer does choose to let someone go, it’s important that the termination is done correctly, otherwise the company could still be liable for wages, according to attorneys.  In order to achieve a bona fide termination, employers must immediately withdraw the worker’s H-1B petition, along with his or her labor condition application.

“Otherwise, the employer's on the hook to continue to pay,” Ms. Zengerle says.  “Which sounds ridiculous, but until that visa is withdrawn, and until the Labor Condition Application is canceled ... then the employer, as far as the government's concerned, is still the employer of record."

The full article can be read at Law360 (subscription required).