How do I get my employer to pay travel expenses as promised?

I am considered an independent
contractor for this company who send me
out on different demo events. I was
brought to the comoany by my mom. I told
them areas I may be willing to travel
to, and the owner asked me if I can do a
weekend event in a city that is 90
miles away. She said that if I can do
this event she will pay me a certain
amount per day for gas. It was a three
day event and I agreed to that amount. 1
week later I received a check without
the travel pay on there. I have been
calling and emailing since and her
assistant keeps saying he has no update
for me yet, and she is not responding to
my emails. They are a small company but
my mom said that they do make promises
like that and ‘forget’ to pay you back
but that I need to keep pressing them. I
really need that money so how can I make
them pay me?

Asked on October 31, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

The only way to make them--or anyone--pay you is by suing them. In this case, you would sue them for "breach of contract," or for violating their agreement (even if only an oral or unwritten one), to pay you for the gas if you would do the business travel. Given the likely amount of money at stake, suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se," would be the only potentially cost effective way to pursue this; unfortunately, a lawsuit is the only way to compel pay. Suing an employer is drastic step; you may wish to wait until you leave employment, assuming you move on in the next year or two, before doing this.

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