On December 20, 2011, the Administrative Review Board (“ARB”) of the Department of Labor decided In Matter of University of Miami . In this case, the University of Miami submitted a petition for a H-1b worker who would perform as a clinical anesthesiologist. When the doctor arrived in the United States, the University of Miami told her that she must obtain a social security card before beginning employment. The doctor received the social security card and informed the University that she was ready to begin working. Due to issues regarding the offered position, the doctor’s employment was terminated. However, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (“USCIS”) was not notified for more than four months. The ARB determined that the time that the doctor spent trying to obtain a social security card was involuntary non-productive time. Consequently, the University was ordered to pay backpay for this period. In addition, the ARB stated that the doctor’s termination only became effective on the date that USCIS was notified. Thus, the University was also liable for backpay from the date of actual termination until the date that USCIS received notification. This case should remind all employers that they risk being held liable for backpay if they create requirements that an H-1b worker must fulfill before starting work and if they fail to alert USCIS to a H-1b worker’s termination. If you have any questions regarding these types of issues, please contact the Hammond Law Group.