What is my legal recourse to obtain payment for work performed as an independent contractor?

I am a nurse consultant (1099). I was contracted to provide case management services for a company. I provided the service but it has been over 5 months and the company has not yet paid me for all of my service. My contract does say that I will be paid when the company receives payment. I have invoices, check stubs and email reflecting their intent to pay me.

Asked on November 8, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the contract says that you will be paid when the company receives payment, they are only in default of their obligation (i.e. have only violated their contract) if you are not paid a reasonable time after they were paid. If there were not paid yet, they are not in default and you can't do anything.

If they were paid and have not paid you, you could sue them to enfore the contract and obtain payment. Or if you believe that they are lying and were paid, but just won't admit to it, you could sue them and in the course of the lawsuit, would have access to legal processes (called "discovery"--e.g. interrogatories or written questions; document requests; depositions; subpoenas) to get information and prove whether they were paid or not.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If the contract says that you will be paid when the company receives payment, they are only in default of their obligation (i.e. have only violated their contract) if you are not paid a reasonable time after they were paid. If there were not paid yet, they are not in default and you can't do anything.

If they were paid and have not paid you, you could sue them to enfore the contract and obtain payment. Or if you believe that they are lying and were paid, but just won't admit to it, you could sue them and in the course of the lawsuit, would have access to legal processes (called "discovery"--e.g. interrogatories or written questions; document requests; depositions; subpoenas) to get information and prove whether they were paid or not.


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