the employer refuses to pay me, after a month. Should I successfully sue, am I entitled to anything like "double damages"?
Lawsuit / Dispute Attorney
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.
6 lawyers agree
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 analyse this matter differently, especially if there are additional facts not reflected in the question. I am not your attorney until retained by a written retainer agreement signed by both of us. I am only licensed in California. See also avvo.com terms and conditions item 9, incorporated as if it was reprinted here.
Employment / Labor Attorney
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.
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