What to do if the guy I’m working for refuses to pay me for work I’ve already completed until I sign a no compete form?

UPDATED: Jul 27, 2011

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What to do if the guy I’m working for refuses to pay me for work I’ve already completed until I sign a no compete form?

Is that extortion?

Asked on July 27, 2011 Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It's not extortion, but it is illegal, and you may sue him. In the future, someone can certainly make signing a non-compete a condition of getting the work, and you'd have to chose between signing it and not working. However, once you have already performed the work, according to whatever terms and conditions existed between you, your employer may *not* refuse to pay you and may not impose additional conditions on you. If he will not pay you for the work you've done, you may sue him for the money he owes you; you should probably consider bringing the action in small claims court, where you can represent yourself and do not need a lawyer. Good luck.

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