What are an independentcontractor’s legal rights regarding non-payment of wages?

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What are an independentcontractor’s legal rights regarding non-payment of wages?

I was working for a company as an independent contractor (1099- (no contract) from 11/08 – 03/10; the company kept delaying my salary. It owes me a total of $7250 (about $4000 of the whole sum goes back to 03-06/09). The company is located in VA, but I was working from home in FL. The only prove that I have regrading my work for the company are e-mails (which are also the only prove that company still owes me money). Please keep in mind that when I was getting paid the money would be put into my account from a teller’s location (no check stubs nor direct deposits). I’m still contacting the company to ask for my money but they keep delaying me. Please note that I moved to WA 3 months ago. Is it a solid case? Can I prove and claim my right? Am I protected under FL, VA, or WA law?

Asked on December 20, 2010 under Employment Labor Law, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If you truly were an indenpendent contractor, then this is not an employment law question, and employment law, including wage and hour law, is irrelevant. Rather, this is a contractual issue: you provided services per a contract or agreement (whether written or oral) and no the company must pay you. To be  paid, you can sue the company on the agreement. You need to be able to prove both its terms (which can be difficult with an oral or verball agreement) and also to prove the work you did; once you do that, the company could try to defend on various grounds (e.g. you were paid; in which case they'd provide cancelled checks, etc.), but if they have no good defense, they will likely have to pay.


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