If I went to work based on texts and phone calls, no contract, can they not pay me?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I went to work based on texts and phone calls, no contract, can they not pay me?

I was working for a contractor who was contacted to do structural repairs on a building. They threw him the contractor off the job. At that point they approached my thru a maintenance man,and asked me to stay on and finish the structural steel, they also promised to pay me what in was owed from the contractor. Then, 3 days later, I was finished and things got sketchy. I’m only owed like $1050 but still I did work all weekend and only to get bent over.

Asked on August 8, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You can sue them: an oral (that is, unwritten; though text message do count as writing) agreement to perform work for pay is legally enforceable. If you did the work, you must be paid for it. You can sue them in small claims court, as your own attorney ("pro se") to save legal fees, for the money. Print out any text messages ahead of time for court--many judges will only review hardcopy, not messages on phones or tablets.

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