How to bestcollect salary owed to me?

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How to bestcollect salary owed to me?

How can I get money owed to me from a truck driving company for mileage driven? They say they have not been paid. Should I contact broker and try to tie up the money so company cannot receive it without paying me? Can I legally park truck until paid or should I continue driving? I am not an employee; I get a 1099 for my pay.

Asked on February 23, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) Legally, it does not matter whether the company has been paid--they still owe you the money whether or not they've been paid by their own clients. So you have grounds to sue them for the money owed you; if you were an employee (see below) you could also contact your state labor department for help.

2) You have no grounds to get their money tied up or encumbered, except in one narrow circumstance--if you sue them and win, you may be able to garnish or encumber funds owed the company. Otherwise, you can't "tie up" their money.

3) Sometimes people called "independent contractors" are in fact employees who've been misclassified; if you are, the company may owe you overtime and benefits and have to pay the employer share of FICA for you. If you own your own truck you're probably an independent contractor, but if you drive a company provided vehicle, you may well be an employee. Contact the federal dept. of labor or go their rules  to see when a driver like yourself is an employee or not; and when, as an employee (if you are), you may be eligible for overtime. Being given a 1099 does not, by itself, guaranty that you're a contractor.

4) Whether you should drive or not depends on the following:

a) If you're an employee, you can quit; but if you are an employee and refuse to drive, you'd be fired for cause. You can't withhold use of a company vehicle.

b) If you're an independent contractor, unless you've already contracted to do more runs, you can stop driving; if you have contracted for work and dont' do it, you'd be in breach of contract.

c) You also need to, within the parametes above, figure out if economically it makes sense to drive when you're having difficulty being paid.

 


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