Can my “employer” not pay me if I do not work beyond my trial period?

I was hired as an independent contractor and put in a 30 day trial period. For some reasons I did not want to proceed with the contract (a 1 year contract). My “employer” wanted me to work an extra week to the 30 days of the trial, to train another person who would be taking “my position”. He mentioned and I quote, “If everything goes well, the company will pay you what it owes you” (at this point they owe me 1 week of the trial, plus obviously the training week I will work). He meant, that if I trained the person then I’d get paid for the week I already worked. Is that OK?

Asked on August 13, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Illinois

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, it's not ok. If you did the work, you should be paid for it. Certainly, the employer could elect to not continue employing you if there was no contract for a specific period--or if, as in this case, there was a trial period--but that does not absolve them of their obligation to pay you for the work you fact did, at the rate mutually agreed upon. They cannot after the fact condition payment on you doing something else or training a replacement. If they will not pay you, you could sue them, including potentially in small claims court (acting as your own attorney).


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