What to do if my employer refused to pay me?

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What to do if my employer refused to pay me?

I am a freelancer and I went on a business trip with my client for which he refused to pay. When I told him I’d seek a legal advice he said he never said he wouldn’t pay (but I have it in writing). He now agrees to pay but is telling me I need to meet with him to reconcile petty cash (expenses during the trip – lunches, dinners, etc.). I do not want to meet with him as he is very short-tempered and I’m scared of him. Do I need to meet for petty cash reconciliation? He threatened to go to police if I don’t meet with him.

Asked on November 18, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

Michael D. Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I do not know how much is at stake, but I would be willing to intercede for a few hundred dollars to write a letter, to more to bring a suit.  You are clearly entitled to be paid.  You did the work and your performance is evidence of it.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

He has NO grounds to go to the police if you won't meet with him...and if he does, you may have a lawsuit against him for malicious prosecution.

As for whether you would have to meet with him--you have two options if you don't want to meet with him, and he won't reconcile the expenses by phone and/or email:

1) Sue him--if you bring a legal action, you'd never need to see him until/unless you saw him in court. Obviously, this is fairly drastic and potentially expensive option; or

2) Accept what he claims for the expenses--find out the number he's comfortable with, then don't worry about reconciling--just use that number as the basis for getting paid.

You'd presumably give up some money with option 2, but it may be easier, cheaper, and less stressful in the long run.


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