What can I do to get the pay that my employer owes me?

When my boss hired me, she made me agree that I accepted being paid at the end of the job. I accepted this when she had stated that the job was supposed to be over in a week. It has now been almost 4 weeks and I have worked for 2 days but have not been contacted to go back. Also, my boss keeps denying my request for cash advances, saying she hired me as a subcontractor, without stating that to me when I started. Is this legal/what would be the best way to take benevolent action?

Asked on May 27, 2017 under Employment Labor Law, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If there was an agreement to pay you for doing work and you did that work, then your employer is contractually obligated (whether that agreement was written or oral, it is still a contract) to pay you: when there is an agreement to pay for work and the work is done, the other party must then honor its own obliations and pay as per the agreement. You can sue your employer for any unpaid wages based on "breach of contract"; assuming the amount involved is less than the limit for small claims court, suing in small claims court, as your own attorney or "pro se" is the fastest, most cost effective option. Suing is the only way to get this money if the employer willnot pay you.
Your employer does not need to call ou back for more work unless you had a written contract guarantying you a certain amount of work (if you did, you can enforce those terms in court if necessary, through a lawsuit for the wages for the rest of the work you should have been given): in the absence of a contract, an employer can decide whether to have you work or not, and can discontinue the work or not schedule you for work at any time.
There is NO legal obligation to give cash advances, unless again, there was a contract guarantying them.
 


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