If I’m a subcontractor how can I get my pay from my employer?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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If I’m a subcontractor how can I get my pay from my employer?

I work for a contractor delivering retail freight. The company he’s contracted for filed bankruptcy. He states he can’t pay none of us drivers because the business went under and didn’t pay him. He owes us 2 checks now. Are there any options for us?

Asked on August 31, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the contractor you worked for: even if he was not paid, he is obligated to pay you if you did work for him. That fact he he was not paid had no bearing on his obligation(s) to you. Of course, if his business was an LLC or corporation and it goes out of business due to lack of funds, then even if you win the lawsuit, you will not be paid: a court order or judgment in your favor cannot make money appear when there is none. (If it is an LLC or corporation, you can only sue it; but if the business is a sole proprietorship, you can sue him personally, and so recover from his personal assets, such as his money in the bank or his house.) But still, despite the risk of insolvency, this is the only way you might be paid if he will not pay voluntarily. You would sue for "breach of contract"--for his not honoring the agreement, even if oral (not written) to pay you for your work. If the amount at stake is equal to or less than the limit for small claims, suing in small claims, as your own attorney ("pro se") to save on legal fees is a very good option.

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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