Can an Indian employer prohibit change of job in the US?

Rohini writes, "I work for an Indian body shop and am currently in the United States.  I used this company merely to find my way to the US and really don't care for them.  Now I want to work for a non-Indian company so that they can stop exploiting me.  While I started working with them, I signed a legal contract that bans me from resigning while in the US.  According to the terms of the contract, I am mandated to return to India, resign, and work there during the 3-month notice period.  What should I do?"

The contract between you and your employer in India is something that is not enforceable in US courts (unless this body shop has American operations and a line in the contract somewhere obligates you to do what they are saying).  Such contracts in the US are generally not looked upon favorably by courts but a competent attorney can review your case and give you advice.

Having said that, you could be sued in India court and even convicted in absentia by an Indian court.  This could become a problem for you because you could be arrested at an Indian airport if you ever visit or the Indian government may refuse to renew your passport.  Convictions anywhere else in the world are not looked upon kindly by USCIS at the time of granting immigration benefits.  Therefore, you must clean up the mess with your current employer before trying to switch to another employer.

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