Posted in Considering Legal Action on Jul 24th, 2012
The attorney-authors of this blog commonly get inquiries from workers who are underpaid or mistreated by H-1B-sponsor employers, and who are initially uncertain whether they want to take action against the employers. We certainly understand this indecision. Further, we think it is a very good thing that mistreated workers talk to an attorney about what legal rights and options they have before the workers take action or self-help measures on their own.
However, there are some workers who speak to attorneys at length about their problems, get legal advice and recommendations, but then “sit on the fence,” so to speak. On occasion, the attorney-authors have communicated with certain workers for hours on end, spanning many weeks, with the workers ultimately not deciding whether they want to pursue legal rights and options we have recommended and explained several times. Commonly, workers on the fence will be consumed with the same issues, asking the same questions over and over, even after an attorney has answered several times to the best of his or her ability.
Please know that there are harms involved with staying on the fence. As a critical example, deadlines for legal rights come and go; opportunities to take action can be forever lost if a worker waits too long in a cloud of indecision. Also, witness’s memories fade over time, meaning they may no longer be helpful to the claim. If you leave attorneys waiting (even ones pleased to represent you), they will turn their attention to other clients and their work capacity and availability will change.
You probably know all this already. And again, we understand if you are initially “on the fence” about taking action until you consult with an attorney and get advice about your rights. Just know you can’t stay on the fence forever. Until you decide you are truly willing to move forward– if you are able to make decisions and take action if an attorney discusses strategies that are logically in your best interest– then please don’t consume too much time (yours and others’) rehashing issues over and over, and staying on the fence.