You are likely misclassified as an "independent contractor", but more facts are necessary and you should call an attorney Monday to discuss. Most, like our firm, will speak with you for a free consultation.
The crux of it is, what benefits, wages, unreimbursed expenses, minimum wages, tax benefits, etc...are you missing out on as result of being misclassified? If they exist, you may be entitled to triple damages.
As to the "debt" there may be an argument to be made that the written...
No. You must be furnished with all owed wages at the end of your employment; terms of any agreement that attempt to change that scenario are unenforceable. If an employer refuses to give you those earned wages, you are entitled to three times the amount.
I suggest you call an employment litigator as soon as possible - there may be other issues as well. Most, like my office, will speak with you for free and may take your case on a contingency based fee.
It's almost impossible to be correctly classified as an independent contractor in Massachusetts. More than likely, regardless of whatever you signed, you are an employee - as a matter of law. This could result in you being entitled to overtime compensation, reimbursement for expenses you paid out-of-pocket, gas, vehicle maintenance, etc...
If you are actually an employee, you must be paid all owed wages upon termination - the failure of the employer to pay your final wages entitled you to...
Probably not. It is nearly impossible to be a correctly classified "independent contractor" here in Massachusetts, particularly if you are engaged in precisely the work that your employer conducts as a regular part of their business. The real question is, how have you been damaged as a result of your potential misclassification? Did you ever work in excess of 40-hours in a particular workweek? Contact a lawyer here in MA, most will speak with you for a few moments or give you a free initial...
You should call a plaintiff's lawyer in MA today. Most, like my office, will speak with you for free to evaluate your potential claim. You're likely entitled to minimum wage, and in MA, you're likely entitled to three times your unpaid wages.
If you're not furnished with everything you're owed on the last day - you are likely entitled to three times that amount for the employer's failure to comply.
I would recommend you call an employment litigator, many others in MA - to review the entire situation before you take any next steps. There may be other issues as well.
Your employer cannot "change" the amount of hours you've actually worked. Failure to pay you properly, may entitle you to three times your owed wages plus an award of reasonable attorneys fees.
You also cannot be terminated for hiring a lawyer to resolve the situation. I suggest you call an attorney tomorrow; most, like my office, will speak to you for a free initial consultation.
You are likely entitled to three times the unpaid wages, plus an award of reasonable attorneys fees that are required to recoup those wages. The fact the business has closed is likely immaterial, as the owners are liable in their personal capacity. I would be happy to speak with you by phone, and you should contact an attorney a s soon as possible for an initial review of the circumstances.
I suggest you call an employment litigator here in MA without delay - most firms, like mine, will speak to you for free for an initial consultation, and may even take your case on what's called a "contingency fee basis," which means you pay no legal fees until/unless there is a recovery.
More information is required to give you a sense of your rights and potential courses of action. However, if you are misclassified as an independent contractor, the unpaid bills may be "wages," which could...
Most likely, you are misclassified as an independent contractor. If the work you perform is within the scope of the regular course of business of the company, you're an employee, regardless of the contract you sign.
You are entitled to overtime pay, the value of unreimbursed expenses, and the other benefits of employment. As to withholding, the employer is required to comply with tax regulations.