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

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

Carlsbad, CA -

Attorney Answers (3)

Charles Richard Perry

Charles Richard Perry

Business Attorney - Hollister, CA
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.

Michael Charles Doland

Michael Charles Doland

Contracts / Agreements Lawyer - Los Angeles, CA
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
Neil Pedersen

Neil Pedersen

Employment / Labor Attorney - Irvine, CA
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

Related Topics

Independent contractor small business

An independent contractor is a person or business that provides goods or services under the terms of a contract or verbal agreement.

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Business contracts

A contract is an agreement voluntarily entered into by two or more parties that is intended to create legal obligations between them.

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