can I sue my ex employer if i was working cash in hand

My ex employer owes me two weeks wages and despite promising to pay me has failed
to do so and is now refusing to even take my calls or respond to my emails. The
problem I have is that I worked cash in hand and had no contract.

Asked on May 16, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can sue him. You can on two different grounds. First, on breach of contract: violation of the oral or unwritten agreement pusuant to which you worked in exchange for pay. If you fulfilled your obligation by doing the work, he is required to honor his by paying you. Second, on the basis of "unjust enrichment": that it is unfair for him to be enriched by getting the benefit of your work without paying for it. If the amount is less than the maximum limit for small claims.court, suing in small claims, acting as your own attorney or "pro se" is a good option.

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