What can be done with consistent payroll issues if working as an independent contractor?

Asked on February 1, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, New York


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you are an independent contractor, then your recourse would be to sue the business you are working for, for breach of contract (the agreement, oral or written, pursuant to which you working). Of course, as a practical matter, if you are getting paid, just late, then a lawuit is not a realistic option, since all you can sue for and get as compensation is any outstanding invoices not paid but which should have been paid, as of the time the lawsuit comes to trial--there is essentially no compensation for late payment, unless you have a contract giving you some fees or penalties when paid late, and there is definitely no compensation for frustration. Your best bet may be to look for someone better to work for, and put up the situation in the meantime.
If the owner owes you a substantial sum of money, that is different, of course: then a lawsuit is worthwhile. But if it's just a constant late payment, the best thing you can do is look for other employment.

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