If I worked for a company who hired temporary independent contractors, what can I do if I havn’t received my paycheck in over a month?

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If I worked for a company who hired temporary independent contractors, what can I do if I havn’t received my paycheck in over a month?

I had a temporary position with this company, selling shoes at a big box store. I worked 51.5 hours – in a total of 5 days. The company has not paid me (or any of their employees). The last day I worked was about 6 weeks ago. They promised my paycheck would be given to me in 15 business days, the day after my shift. It’s been way past 15 days and I have also discovered that the founder of the company has a criminal record of embezzling money. I’ve tried reaching out to them multiple times, but now my phone calls are being blatantly ignored. I’m unsure how to handle this situation. Clearly, this is illegal and I deserve the money I worked for.

Asked on February 3, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse is to sue for the money you are owed: you would sue on the basis on breach of contract (violation of the agreement, even if only an oral or unwritten one, pursuant to which you would work in exchange for pay). A good option is to sue in small claims court, on a "pro se" (as your own attorney) basis--this will minimize costs, especially for a straightforward case like this, and small claims court moves faster than other courts.


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