If I’m an independent contractor and my employer is witholding my checks because I was not able to report to office meetings for 3 weeks , is this legal?

I’ve been working with a marketing firm for 3 years and now they are not paying me.

Asked on August 31, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

It is legal only if the terms of the agreement pursuant to which you worked (i.e. if you were a contractor, the contract or agreement by which you worked in exchange for pay, whether that agreement was oral or written) included the provision that you could have pay withheld for a failure to attend meetings. If that was not part of the contract between you and your employer, then they have to pay you for the work you did pursuant to the agreement: i.e. if the agreement was to pay you $X for each hour or day or work, they have to pay you that, even if you missed meetings.. And if you were really an employee, not a contractor, it would not be legal at all--an employer may never withhold pay from an employee for missing meetings or other performance issues (though the employer may terminate the employee for attendence or performance issues).

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