What is my recourse if my employer refused to pay me for services rendered?

I was hired to work for a private contractor to render services to a radiation oncology. The contractor lost his contract with the hospital therefore, he asked me to leave. He refused to pay me what he verbally promised that is an equivalent of 4 weeks of salary amount to approximately $15,000. What is my option?

Asked on August 22, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Your recourse is to sue: if someone violates their agreement to pay you for work you did or services your rendered, the way you get your money is to sue them. You can sue based on oral contract as well as a written one; in New York State, the statute of limitations, or time within which you must sue for breach of contract is 6 years, so you are well within time to sue. To win, you'd need to prove, including by the use of your own testimony, the terms of the agreement (i.e. what  you should have been paid) and that you honored your obligations (i.e. that you did the work.) You could act as your own attorney ("pro se") but for $15,000, you would be well advised to retain an attorney to bring the action for you. In the course of the lawsuit, you can the contract using the legal mechanism of "discovery" (such as written questions or document requests), which lets you get information and documentation from the other side.
So if you want your money, file a lawsuit--that's how you start the process of getting it.

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