What to do if a company is threatening not to pay for hours worked as an independent contractor?

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What to do if a company is threatening not to pay for hours worked as an independent contractor?

I picked up a short term tutoring job, and now the company is saying they will not pay for APril hours because reports were not signed by parents. I have only a verbal agreement with them and through a number of phone calls was told about student attendance sheets, reports, etc. It was stressed to me that the attendance sheets were most important and I would not be paid if students didn’t sign-in daily. Now they say that since the parents did not sign the reports, they will not “be able” to get paid and therefore will not pay me. Am I out of this money? I turned in all attendance sheets.

Asked on May 6, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Ohio

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

1) If you did everything that *you* were supposed to do under the terms (whether pursuant to a written or oral agreement) of your contract, they you have to be paid. If they failed to tell you about a requirement, that is their problem, not yours; your obligation is simply to do what you were contracted to do.

2) It doesn't matter, legally, whether they get paid; they still have to pay you. Practically, it's possible they don't have the money to pay you if they are not paid, but that's not a legal question; the obligation exists.

3) If they won't pay, you will have to sue them to get the money, which may or may not be cost effective depending on how much is at stake.


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