legality of contracts

  1. Here's a very interesting dilemma that I came across just a few days ago. My friend, a new nurse from the Philippines, asked me about the legality of his contract.
    Here's the story: My friend applied with a Filipino agent based here in the US. He paid $6500 dollars to get everything sorted out and eventually land a job here in the US.
    In his eagerness to get here, he signed the agent's contract, part of which stated that if he breached his contract, he'd have to pay an additional $4500.
    That contract was separate from his employer's contract, which had a milder penalty of $1500 plus the amount spent for the processing of his papers.
    Again, because of his excitement, he didn't even bother to research the place he was assigned to work in. Like many of us, we used to say in the Philippines, "bahala na kung saan mapadpad, basta nasa Amerika."
    Anyway, when my friend got here, he found himself in a desolate place in the midwest, where tornadoes are common, and where there are more pigs than people.
    Again, like many of us, he endured the isolation as much as he could, until he finally caved in.
    After a year (and after much prodding from his friends), he finally decided to leave. Because of his impressive work ethic, his employer agreed to let him go in good faith, and in fact waived the penalty fee. He, however, was asked to reimburse the processing fee. So after settling his dues with his employer, he left for a better place.
    Soon after his left, his Filipino agent got wind of his transfer, and reminded him of the other contract, and that he needed to pay her (the Filipino agent is a female) $4500 for breaching.
    He had saved up some money, and so agreed to pay $1500 initially and then settle the rest through staggered payments. However, when his friends heard about it (me included), they began to cast doubt on the legality of the agent's contract.
    I'm no lawyer myself, so in ending my story, can anyone share their input about this scenario. Does my friend really have to pay out this other contract? Thanks!
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   suzanne4
    Depends on the specifics of the contract and without seeing it, would be impossible to tell you one wsay or the other.

    This is why I always tell everyone to get a contract reviewed before signing it.............I am so tired of seeing Filipinos take advantage of other Filipinos. It is just sickening.

    Your friend needs to have the contract reviewed by a reputable attorney ASAP. And let this be a warning to the others that sign things too quickly.
    And what about charging the agenct for placing him in an areas like that in the first place. Shame on her!
  4. by   speedtec
    hi suzanne, i'm 2 months away from finishing my contract with a nursing home in nj. however, my greencard hasn't been released yet. my adjustment of status application remains pending. it's been over two years since the application was filed. the lawyer handling my case suggests to remain in the nursing home while waiting for my greencard but added it's okay to work elsewhere. is there going to be a negative effect on my pending AOS application if i work for another facility once i've finished my current contract? this particular lawyer isn't giving me a specific answer and he seems to be insinuating that i remain with my current employer (i guess that's because he works for my employer). i hope you can enlighten me with this. thanks in advance.
  5. by   suzanne4
    Sorry, but it is not okay for you to work anyplace else at this time. Your green card petitioning is thru that one employer and the EAD is only valid for them. If you have had approval for the I-140 for more than 180 days and have not received approval on the I-485, then you can change employers and keep all of the dates the same. But to tell you that you can just go and work for another employer is not legal at all.

    He is giving you very poor information at best.
  6. by   speedtec
    sorry suzanne, i forgot to inform you that my I-140 had already been approved last year and am just waiting for the I-485 approval. so is it okay to move on to another employer? again, thanks a million for helping out confused nurses like me.
  7. by   NurseCubanitaRN2b
    Quote from speedtec
    Again, because of his excitement, he didn't even bother to research the place he was assigned to work in. Like many of us, we used to say in the Philippines, "bahala na kung saan mapadpad, basta nasa Amerika."
    Anyway, when my friend got here, he found himself in a desolate place in the midwest, where tornadoes are common, and where there are more pigs than people.
    Again, like many of us, he endured the isolation as much as he could, until he finally caved in.
    Why do people insist on signing contract with out checking things out. What did your friend think, he'd be in paradise? No matter which place you go to in the US you're going to have some natural disasters....In the Pacific Coast you will have floods and earthquakes. The midwest you will have tornados. If you're in the Gulf states, you're looking at hurricanes. In the upper midwest & parts of the east coast you're going to have snowstorms and snow up to your knees...People should just be thankful that they were able to find a job....I'm sure there are a lot of foreign grads who would love to be in your friends shoes and working as a nurse....As Suzanne said, with out looking at the contract it's hard to tell the legality of the contract....with that your friend might be sent home if the contract isn't legal...There's a lesson to be learned, DON'T SIGN ANYTHING UNTIL YOU FULLY READ AND UNDERSTAND IT....if you don't understand something then DON'T SIGN IT....There are reasons why things take time, it's called patience and good things come to those that wait.
  8. by   Ginger's Mom
    One correct, I would be thrilled with snow up to my knees, I looked at the end of my driveway and it is over my head!

    Seriously, I think for some of the new nurses it maybe the first time they have entered into a legal contract in the USA. Contracts in the USA can be unforgiving.
  9. by   Nurse!Nurse!Hello?
    Quote from speedtec
    Like many of us, we used to say in the Philippines, "bahala na kung saan mapadpad, basta nasa Amerika."
    Can you please translate this?
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't know what this means.
    Thanks.
  10. by   suzanne4
    Quote from speedtec
    sorry suzanne, i forgot to inform you that my I-140 had already been approved last year and am just waiting for the I-485 approval. so is it okay to move on to another employer? again, thanks a million for helping out confused nurses like me.
    It is okay for you to move to another employer, but they will have to provide documentation to immigration and absorb your petitioning. You cannot just move over to another employer, you will also need essentially permission from the US government to do so. Your EAD that you possess currently is only for that one employer.

    For others that are reading here, this is only valid if one is still waiting for I-485 approval after six months since I-140 approval.
  11. by   redranger
    Quote from Nurse!Nurse!Hello?
    Can you please translate this?
    I'm sure I'm not the only one who doesn't know what this means.
    Thanks.

    "it doesnt matter where as long as im in america"

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