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H-1B holder accuses employer of immigrant discrimination

In a state outside North Carolina, an employee has filed a lawsuit against his employer. The man, who also happens to be an immigrant, is a former staff writer for a weekly news column. He claims that he was not paid just wages and also that he lost benefits because of reported tax fraud that his employer allegedly committed.

The former newsman said that he had obtained employment through the H-1B work visa program. According to the program's stipulations, employers hiring workers through an H-1B visa must provide a wage that is equivalent to the typical wage paid for the job so as to prevent the loss of job opportunities for citizens that might occur if non-citizen workers can be hired for less money. The complaint against the employer states that the man was paid a just wage when he was first hired, but then his pay checks began to show a steady decrease; at times, his employer allegedly failed to pay him at all, unless he specifically requested it.

Once the man was no longer employed at the newspaper, he claims to have discovered a tax fraud scheme perpetrated by the employer. He said that the employer had found a way to decrease tax liability at the employee's expense. The scheme reportedly involved the employer claiming the man as an independent contractor, rather than the full-time employee the employer had previously registered him as when his status was adjusted in 2010.

The tax scheme allegedly resulted in the employee having to pay taxes that should have been paid by the employer. North Carolina workers who find themselves facing similar issues with their employers might want to seek legal guidance from a professional with experience in immigration and naturalization law. Doing so might help to clarify the issues and provide information on applicable laws and an employer's obligation insofar as wages and taxes are concerned for full-time immigrant employees hired through the H-1B program.

Source: globalnation.inquirer.net, "Filipino newsman sues former employer in New York", Ricky Rillera, July 2, 2015

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