On May 13th, 2010 US department of Labor unveiled a new tool to assist employers and H1B holders to understand the H1B visa requirements and comply with the program rules. There have been many H1B Fraud Companies Debarred before that violated these rules. There are many myths among the H1B visa holders about what to do and what NOT to do. This tool is to geared to clarify many questions like below and help clarify rights and responsibilities.
- Should you be paid on bench when on vacation?
- Should you pay for training?
- Is Visa fee your expense or Employer should pay for it ?
All you have to do is, go to Elaws H1B advisor tool at DOL and select I am a H1B worker. You will see stuff like below screenshots. If you want to get an idea of the introduction and how the petition should be filed, you may go to the Introduction of H1B visa program DOL and then select Continue at the bottom. The whole screen is very easy to navigate and you can browse around. See below for an example about Bench pay.
Here is just an example interactive session on Benching and Other Nonproductive Periods for H1B
Answer at the End
You indicated that you are not paid when you are nonproductive, due to the following reason(s): you requested time for personal travel in the U.S..
Your employer is not required to pay you when you are unavailable for work and the reasons are personal and unrelated to work availability, such as if you requested time for personal travel in the U.S. provided this unpaid status is acceptable to USCIS and is not subject to payment under another statute (e.g., the Family and Medical Leave Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act) or accrued earned time off, such as vacation, sick or personal paid time.
In general, your employer must pay you from the onset of employment until bona fide termination unless you experience a period of nonproductive status due to conditions unrelated to employment which 1) take you away from your duties at your voluntary request and convenience, or 2) render you unable to work.
A salaried worker is entitled to a full salary. A full-time hourly worker is entitled to wages for a full-time schedule of hours, usually 40 hours per week. A part-time hourly worker is entitled to no less than the number of hours entered on the Form I-129 filed with your petition, unless there is a range of hours, in which case you are entitled to the average hours worked in the preceding periods, provided it is within the range stated on the I-129.
More information on the onset of employment and bona fide termination is available under the Wages-Initial obligation to pay section, and under the Wages-Bona fide termination section of this Advisor.