Domestic Employee Business Visa – Employment Contract

Employees have the right to be treated and paid fairly. They must not be held in a job against their will.

Both the employer and the employee must sign a contract that includes the following at the minimum:

  • A description of the employee’s work duties, weekly work hours, holidays, sick days, and vacation days. 

  • Employer agrees not to withhold the passport of the employee, the employment contract, nor other personal property of the employee.

  • Employee will not accept any other employment while working for the sponsoring employer. 

  • Explanation of the pay rate as well as the frequency of the pay. In other words, how much pay and how often. 

    Employer must guarantee that the employee will be paid at least the prevailing wage or the minimum wage per hour, whichever is higher. Prevailing wage is a fair wage comparable to that offered in the area of employment in the U.S. The wage should be sufficient to provide financial support for the employee and his/her dependents. 

    Visit FLC Data Center to find the prevailing wage in a given area. Click on the search wizard, choose the appropriate city and state, and select the appropriate job code to find Level One hourly prevailing wages.
    • If the employee will not be caring for children, enter “Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners” in the keyword search or code 37-2012. 

    • If the employee will be caring for children, enter “Child Care Worker” in the keyword search or code 39-9011. 
  • Actual wages must be mentioned. It is not enough to simply mention “minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater”. 

    Moreover, any deductions for food and lodging must be no more than reasonable and voluntarily agreed by the employee.

  • A provision for overtime (150% of normal wages) if the employee works more than 40 hours a week. 

  • An agreement by the employer to abide by all laws in the U.S. 

  • All employee rights and privileges are guaranteed under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). 

  • Employer will provide medical insurance, free room and board, and round-trip airfare to/from the U.S. These expenses must not be deducted from the wages.

    Unless the employer is able to enroll the employee in a group plan, the medical insurance will be expensive. 

  • Any other benefits normally required for U.S. domestic workers in the geographical area of employment.

  • Employer will pay U.S. taxes and social security on the employee’s wages. 

  • Include severance provisions. 

  • Employer must give at least two weeks notice to the employee regarding termination. However, the employer can not require more than two weeks notice from the employee regarding termination. 

  • A statement by both the employer and the employee that the employee cannot be required to remain on the premises after working hours without compensation. 

  • A statement that indicates the contract is valid only during the trip or trips that the domestic employee takes with the employer. 

  • Contract duration should normally be one year.

The contract must be in English. It must be signed and dated by both the employer and the employee. If the employee does not understand English, the employer must provide the certified translation of the contract in the employee’s native language. The employee should understand the terms of the contract and must be able to answer the questions regarding the terms of employment during the interview. The employee should not sign anything that he/she does not understand.

The contract with the above provision is necessary to obey the U.S. laws and human rights protections. The employer must pay the expenses for the employee’s initial travel to the U.S. and for travel back to the employee’s country of normal residence at the termination of the assignment.

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