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1099 technical contractor not getting paid for all hours worked. Is this right?

San Francisco, CA |

I signed a contractor agreement to work 8 hours a day doing technical support and troubleshooting remotely from home. However, much of my work involved making calls to India and working on the computer with their tech support people. Due to the time differential (12 hrs), I would end up working a full day then making a bunch of calls later at night and would be on the computer doing tech support for an additional 1-2 hours each night. I discussed this with my remote supervisor and was told to continue doing what I was doing.

I just sent in my bill and have been told they will only pay me for 8 hours a day, none of the extra hours I worked. It's like 60 hours!

What can I do?!

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Attorney answers 2


Without checking your contract and getting more details about the arrangement, it's a little difficult to tell whether you should be considered an employee or an independent contractor (regardless of the label used by the employer). At first blush, it looks like you agreed to work for and be paid for working just 8 hours a day, yet maybe your supervisor authorized you to work more.

Since close scrutiny is needed, I would suggest you consult with an attorney about this, bringing with you everything in writing, including all emails, and all your work time records, to see whether you are entitled to more than just 8 hours' worth of pay for the days you worked.

Good luck.


If you are properly characterized as an independent contractor, you have no remedy. If you are improperly characterized as an independent contractor and are, instead, an employee, you have a remedy. Therefore, determining if you are an employee or IC is critical here.

You have not given us any facts that would help us determine which you are other than your agreement to be an IC, which is not controlling. You will need to visit with an employment lawyer to have him or her determine if you have been properly characterized or not.

If you are an employee in an IC's clothing, the next step would be to determine if you are an exempt or non-exempt employee. If your work would categorize you as an exempt employee, then you have no remedy. If your work would categorize you as a non-exempt employee, then you should be entitled to overtime pay for every hour over 8 hours in a day or over 40 hours in a week.

Again you need to share the details of your job with an employment lawyer to determine how your job should be characterized in this respect as well.

Good luck to you.

This answer should not be construed to create any attorney-client relationship. Such a relationship can be formed only through the mutual execution of an attorney-client agreement. The answer given is based on the extremely limited facts provided and the proper course of action might change significantly with the introduction of other facts. All who read this answer should not rely on the answer to govern their conduct. Please seek the advice of competent counsel after disclosing all facts to that attorney. This answer is intended for California residents only. The answering party is only licensed to practice in the State of California.

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