My husband works in the petroleum industry. He contracted to do work, was paid his first 2 checks very late. His final check for 5k has not been paid. He should have received his check in October early to mid October. Contractor refused to pay, then agreed to meet me to pay. Never called or met. the work was done and we live in Oklahoma.
Well he may have to sue. I would first contact the construction contractors board to determine if sub-contractors can file a claim against the general contractor's bond to collect the money he is owed. Otherwise depending on the small claims limits in your state, usually under $7500-10,000. He can file a small claims action without using an attorney. If there is a written agreement, it should be reviewed to determine if attorney fees are awarded to prevailing parties. You can see there are a number of issues to discuss with an attorney in your state. Find one here on Avvo or call your local bar for a referral.
Best of luck!
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I agree with my colleague from Oregon regarding the bond. And you can certainly do this yourself in small claims court. However, there are good reasons for doing this under normal civil procedure rules rather than under the Small Claims Procedure Act, but for that you should use an attorney. Even so, in Oklahoma, the loser has to pay the other side's attorney's fees. However, there are tricks and traps. For example, each party can get stuck paying the other side's attorney's fees.
Another wrinkle is the possibility that you aren't actually a contractor, but an employee. In that case, the company has broken payday laws (and payroll tax laws, and possible violated other important duties regarding unemployment tax and workers' compensation insurance). That is not a simple analysis and. again, you should consult with an attorney to better understand your options.
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I agree with my colleagues and would also add that, if your husband is like many other subs in the oil and gas space, he may be working under an LLC or INC. If that is the case, he is NOT able to represent himself in court. You need to move quickly to collect before the contractor goes out of business or files for bankruptcy. If he believes he was actually an employee, he can contact the Department of Labor.
Good luck to you.
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