Is it legal to not pay me if I didn’t fill out any formal paperwork?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is it legal to not pay me if I didn’t fill out any formal paperwork?

I was hired by a company and did not filll out a job application or, sign any formal paperwork. I put in the job application through the job website indeed. I got the call about the job and was asked to start the same night. I showed up and met the supervisor and he gave me a very brief walk-through. The only thing he did was take a picture of my photo I.D. I didn’t sign any paperwork. I worked for 2 weeks straight without any time off. I was getting ready to go in like usual, and a few hours before I was getting ready to leave my supervisor asked me to call him, he then puts me on the phone with his boss, he then presumes to tell me that he lost the contract due to poor performance in other stores, and that it was nothing that I had done wrong and thanked me for working. The reason I am worried is because like I said I did not fill out any formal paperwork. I was told that I would be mailed a check, and was told when the checks arrived he would contact me to confirm the address to mail it out. I have proof that I was working through text messages and witnesses that seen me working in the store. Can I sue this company if they do not or refuse to pay me. I was sketchy from the start but I tried working through it. I just don’t want to be cheated out of my time and the hard work and effort that I put it.

Asked on January 10, 2018 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you did the work, you must be paid for it. You did the work pursuant (or according) to an agreement, even if only an oral or unwritten one, that you would work in exchange for a certain amount of pay. It was a contract, even if an oral one; therefore, if you did the work (you performed your end) they are contractually obligated to do their part and pay you. If they don't pay you, you could sue them for the money, such as in small claims court as your own attorney ("pro se").

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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