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Have Not Been Paid in 2 Months

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  • Have Not Been Paid in 2 Months

    CALIFORNIA

    The problem: My employer has not paid me in over 2 months.

    Details......

    The nature of my work: I make ads and commercial graphics for my boss's clients. The boss does most of the writing, and I do the artwork and computer stuff.

    The documents that exist: A job application, a W-2 from when I was listed as an employeed, Quickbooks records of paying me as an employee and as an independent contractor (usually these payments were listed as advances because my boss had a terrible habit of estimating how much I had worked instead of counting off the time logs), a large log of my hours and the projects I worked on, and a computer (and file folders) full of my ads and artwork.

    The details: He owes me for $10 x 150 hours approximately. I am paid as an independent contractor - no taxes taken out. I work on his computer in his office when he calls me in and during mutually agreed upon hours. He refuses to pay me because I am a freelance independent contractor now and he has not received checks from our clients in a long time. He keeps telling me when he gets paid, I'll get paid. Every time I ask about where my check is, he gives me a sob story about how many loans he's had to take out and how he can't pay his bills either. That's nice and all, but it's not really my problem.

    What's fed into this: I've continued to finish the projects I've been working on in good faith because I have seen him send checks in the mail to other artists long after they've departed from his company. Though he is a terrible business man, former employees have told me that my boss gives great recommendation letters if you leave on his good side. I'm very young still, and a year of work with no recommendation is like being fresh out of college with no experience again. This job started as an internship - a paying one, which was rare - and I started working for my boss without comparing hours or worrying about pay dates.

    Now what: Now I'm listed as an independent contractor, my only weapon is a handwritten log book and I believe my broke boss may have just received a check finally today for about $1000 more than he owes me. I have a hunch that because of his financial troubles, he won't pay me all he owes me. Everyone keeps telling me that my boss withholding payment to me as an independent contractor because of his financial woes and not being paid yet by the client is illegal. I am leaving the job, but without money so far. What can I do?
    Last edited by vcwork; 10-26-2005, 06:28 PM. Reason: state

  • #2
    You will have to file a civil suit, just like any other vendor. The Dept. of Labor does not pursue nonpayment of "wages" (for lack of a better term) for individuals who are not employees.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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    • #3
      That sounds more expensive than $1500 after paying a lawyer. If it is my judgement that my boss is cheap, but eventually will pay, am I better off going through the grueling wait? None of my time logs are signed, so I'm not seeing enough evidence to pull off a court case in my future. What can I do to protect myself next time?

      Thanks.

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      • #4
        Didn't say you had to have an attorney. File in small claims court. I'm sure $1,500 is below the maximum for any state. There is a very small fee, like $50-$75.
        http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp/smallclaims/
        I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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