If I contracted someone to assist me with no compensation but this person broke their contract, am I legally obligated to reimburse expenses?

I just started a production company with a partner and after 3 months of a 6 month production my assistant left with no warning or say. It put me in a bind and cost me time and money to coordinate a replacement but I did. Now, 2 weeks later, he is demanding my business partner about reimbursement for expenses I never asked him to spend. I want to pay him back for anything reasonable, but he knew taking on the project that any reimbursement would take until the completion of the project. He is not an employee so I do not know what I am legally obligated to do.

Asked on July 28, 2012 under Employment Labor Law, Texas

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The first thing needed to be done is to carefully read any signed agreement that you and the other person signed concerning the project and look to see if there was anything mentioned about reimbursement of expenses in that such document would control the obligations owed between the two parties on the project.

If nothing is stated and expenses were incurred where the other party is no longer working on the project, you should quickly reimburse him or her for all reasonable out of pocket expenses incurred. From a business perspective it is better to pay the expenses and move on especially since the work done was "gratis".


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