My employer owes me around 4,000 but I was working under the table. Is there any way I can get this money from him?

I have the days and hours worked and I
can get a text message from him stating
that he knows he owes me this much..
can you help?

Asked on April 28, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Pennsylvania


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

You can sue him for the money he owes you: if there was an agreement to pay you for work done, even an oral agreement (but it's better if you have some written acknowledgment, which you evidently do) and you did the work, then if he doesn't pay you, you can sue him for breach of contract. You would need to prove the terms of the agreement and that you did the work, through some combination of testimony, documents or correspondence, and any other relevant evidence (e.g. if you did construction or  contracting work, photographs of the completed job). You have to prove your case by a "preponderance of the evidence," or that it is "more likely than not." For the amount at stake, suing in small claims court, as your own attorney ("pro se") to avoid legal fees, is a good option.
Bear in mind that "under the table" payment is not legal: all income or wages are taxed. If you get the money, you'll need to pay income tax, etc. on it.

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