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Thread: Class action sue a big corporation in AZ because discrimination foreign engineers

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    Question Class action sue a big corporation in AZ because discrimination foreign engineers

    I was terminated by the big corporation Freeport Copper & Gold in AZ. I am a foreign engineer who started working for the company three years ago by working visa. My offer was a full time position. My performance was excellent every year. But since August 2015, the company has announced to downsize because losing money, HR told me not to renew my visa as pretext reason bad performance and ask me leave soon, and then my position was replaced by an American engineer. After I left, I heard that the company paid the severance package three month salary and benefits to the American workers who laid off.

    I thought I was discriminated by the company, because, first, the real reason not to renew my visa was the company downsizing, but the company paid the severance package to the American workers, the foreign workers just left no severance package. Second, my full time position was replaced by an American.

    So I opened a file in EEOC, but EEOC just issued a right to sue for me. Now I am preparing for a legal war, how much chance I can win? How to find a good lawyer?

    I also think a CLASS ACTION because other H1B foreign engineers also cut by not renewing visa and without severance package. See the link below:
    https://www.thelayoff.com/freeport-m...opper-and-gold

  2. #2
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    I don't know a lot, but it is my understanding that a position MUST go to an American citizen if there is one qualified over an H1B Visa holder every time. Here's one article to read through:
    http://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1...er-rights.html -- check out the very last statement at the bottom. So it seems to be very legal for them to replace you. They are not required to renew your visa. AND the company can be fined for failure to hire qualified US citizens over h1b holders. So you are at a disadvantage there and I don't see where that is illegal discrimination (and it seems the EEOC doesnt' think it is a big enough issue to take it up).

    Severance is not required unless it is in some contract/agreement, but that link does make it seem that at least they must pay for your transportation back to your home country under the Visa rules. I suspect that American citizens do have more rights and the employer would ask them to sign a "release of claims/waiver" so that they can't sue under EEOC claims, etc.

    I wouldn't expect you to have much chance of claims over American citizens.

  3. #3

    Default Now the issue is the company has paid severance package to layoff American workers,

    Quote Originally Posted by hr for me View Post
    I don't know a lot, but it is my understanding that a position MUST go to an American citizen if there is one qualified over an H1B Visa holder every time. Here's one article to read through:
    http://www.immihelp.com/visas/h1b/h1...er-rights.html -- check out the very last statement at the bottom. So it seems to be very legal for them to replace you. They are not required to renew your visa. AND the company can be fined for failure to hire qualified US citizens over h1b holders. So you are at a disadvantage there and I don't see where that is illegal discrimination (and it seems the EEOC doesnt' think it is a big enough issue to take it up).

    Severance is not required unless it is in some contract/agreement, but that link does make it seem that at least they must pay for your transportation back to your home country under the Visa rules. I suspect that American citizens do have more rights and the employer would ask them to sign a "release of claims/waiver" so that they can't sue under EEOC claims, etc.

    I wouldn't expect you to have much chance of claims over American citizens.
    but the company did not offer any severance package for foreign workers during downsizing, even the foreign workers have full time position same as American workers.

  4. #4

    Default How to find a CLASS ACTION LAWYER to sue the company for discrimination foreigner?

    The company offered the severance package for American workers, but for foreign workers H1B, just terminated by not renewing their visa and let them go without same severance package.

  5. #5
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    Severance packages are not required by law.
    The above answer, whatever it is, assumes that no legally binding and enforceable contract or CBA says otherwise. If it does, then the terms of the contract or CBA apply.

  6. #6
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    Depending upon how the severance was handled, they may not have been able to pay it. It also depends how they worded the severance agreement/policy, but as they were legally obligated to let you and the others on H-1Bs go, you very well may not qualify for severance. You weren't laid off. Your visa was not renewed, likely because given the impending downsizing, it would have been wasted effort to even try and renew it. There is no legal requirement that a visa be renewed. You were not laid off; your visa expired and you were no longer eligible to work in the US. Paying you "wages" beyond that point can cause a number of issues, even if they wanted to pay severance. That others who were laid off after you got a severance is legally meaningless. Typically in this country, when severance is paid, it is only paid to those who were unexpectedly unemployed, not those on fixed terms which simply end. That would be highly unusual.
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.

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