What to do if a client is not agreeing to pay for time that theyoriginally agreed to pay?

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What to do if a client is not agreeing to pay for time that theyoriginally agreed to pay?

I am a small business providing software consultancy. I signed up a contract with Company A to work for their client. I do not have any contract with the Client. The client is a Systems Integrator providing services to the End Customer. Any hours I work for end customer is considered Billable by the client. The Client sent me an email confirming that I will be paid for billable and non-billable hours. They approved my timesheets for both billable and non-billable hours. After my project got over, the Client informed me that they will not pay me for the non-billable hours. What are my options? What can I do to get my payment?

Asked on September 29, 2011 under Business Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the client. If you have an agreement with the client, that agreement is enforceable as per its terms--i.e., you need to be paid as it was agreed you would be paid. Furthermore, besides the agreement yourself, you have the approved timesheets, which further evidence that this was the agreement between the parties (if it wasn't, presumably they would not have approved the timesheets, but rather would have questioned them). To get the money, if they don't pay voluntarily, you would bring a lawsuit based on the agreement, using the time sheets and other evidence to support it. For smaller amounts, it would probably make sense to consider suing in small claims court, where you could represent yourself and avoid legal fees. Good luck.


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