I was an independent contractor for a California based employer. I legitimately earned substantial commissions, for which ...

Asked about 1 year ago - Carlsbad, CA

the employer refuses to pay me, after a month. Should I successfully sue, am I entitled to anything like "double damages"?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Charles Richard Perry

    Pro

    Contributor Level 16

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You are entitled to interest on the judgment, once it is entered. You may be entitled to prejudgment interest from the time you should have been paid. While employees are entitled to certain penalties pursuant to the California Labor Code, independent contractors have no such right. You also have no right to exemplary or punitive damages for a failure to pay wages under a contract.

  2. Michael Charles Doland

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No your rights would be limited to breach of contract and pre-judgment interest. No attorney fees, no "penalties" or punitive damages.

    The above is general legal and business analysis. It is not "legal advice" but analysis, and different lawyers may... more
  3. Neil Pedersen

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . While it is a long shot, if you could prove that the "employer" never intended to pay you the commissions at the time the contract was entered into, meaning you can prove the contract was a fraudulent device intended to cause you to act in a certain way, then punitive damages would be available if you were able to prove a fraud by clear and convincing evidence. It is a very high standard, and proving no intent to perform will be difficult.

    Good luck to you.

    This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed... more

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