Rights of alien workers if underpaid

In case you did not know, a recent immigration case highlights many interesting aspects of United States immigration and labor laws and how it helps all workers even if they work for a foreign government.  It appears that in poor countries like India, not only do middle class Indians hire an army of maids and servants, they also exploit, abuse, and mistreat them for low (or no) pay and typically compensate them in form of letting them sleep in a corner in the house, providing food and hand-me-down clothes.  It is clear that many Indian diplomats are so spoiled that they cannot imagine scrubbing floors or doing dishes like almost all Americans do and drag their maids with them to the United States.  The American law allows them to do so under A-3 visa as long as the employee is paid at least the minimum wage for a 40 hour work week and then overtime pay.  What Indian diplomats do is to tell the State Department that they will abide by the law, but then pay the employee either little or no salary (they will sometimes send a small payment in Indian currency to the poor maid's family in India). 


 
One such diplomat, Devayani Khobragade, not only lied under oath to the State Department on the visa application, she signed a separate contract with the maid (Sangeeta Richard) promising to pay her a lot less than that.  In addition, the maid was forced to work long hours like a slave without breaks and when the woman was fed up and wanted to return home, the diplomat refused to give her passport back.  She also used her connections in India to file false charges against her so that corrupt officials, judges, and cops in India were harassing her family.  Thankfully, the United States came to her help and rescued her family from India, bringing them to the USA as human trafficking victims.  The diplomat was sued for visa fraud and violation of labor laws, but because she was convinced that she would be convicted and jailed for up to 15 years, she (with the help of equally corrupt Indian Government) claimed diplomatic immunity and was forced out of the country.  She now faces felony charges in the United States and will never be allowed to enter the United States unless she surrenders herself to be tried by a court.  Having a US citizen husband and children will not allow her to get a green card either.



So what are your rights if you are an alien employee and are being exploited by your employer who maybe overseas?  Apparently, this is happening even to much more educated software engineers, who are sent to the United States using fraudulent paperwork on business visitor visas but are actually forced to engage in paid work.  Using an excuse that they cannot be paid US wages, these employees are paid only their Indian wages and a small allowance.  If this is the situation you are in (I have cited examples of Indian corporations because of the widespread abuse but it is true for any national in the USA, whether legally or illegally being exploited by an employer whether based here or overseas as long as the work is being done in the US), you should immediately hire an attorney and discuss your options.  You maybe able to report your employer for visa fraud (Infosys paid a huge fine for breaking US immigration laws) and sue them for past wages.  The only downside is that since the Indian government and law enforcement is so corrupt (and will definitely side with a corporation after bribes are padi), you maybe harassed when you are in India, so you will need to plan for that by asking for asylum for you and your family in the United States.  And, if you are an employer reading this, be aware that ALL aliens (except for a miniscule number of diplomats with immunity) are subject to US laws and lying on an immigration application or not paying a fair wage to an employee are serious crimes.  Informal arrangements like paying someone in India for work done here or convincing yourself that the worker here even without fair salary is better off than being in an Indian slum or whatever other junk logic that you may have to exploit vulnerable workers are not going to cut it in front of a jury.