final pay and 1099

I have been employed for the last 4 years by a contractor who gives a 1099. Recently, my boss has let me go due to company not performing well. He however has said he would give me my 2 final checks. Since then he has gone MIA. I haven’t been able to contact him by email, text or phone call. Even though I collect a 1099, can I take him to the labor board? I work exclusively for him and no other contractors and he is my sole purpose of income.

Asked on December 15, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If you were a contractor and were paid by a form 1099 as a contractor, then your option or recourse is to sue for the money: as the term "contractor" implies, your work was done pursuant (or according) to a contract or agreement (even if an oral or unwritten one) under which you agreed to work in exchange for pay. If you did the work, he is contracually obligated to do his part and pay you. If not paid, you would sue for "breach of contract," or violating that agreement. If the amount is less than the limit for small claims court, you could sue in small claims as your own attorney or "pro se" to save legal fees. (Also, small claims court is faster than other courts.) If the business was a corporation or LLC, you sue the busienss; otherwise, sue the owner personally.

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