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I have an Independent Contractor Agreement for a year , but Monday my "boss" tried Breaking the contact/not pay. Is this legal?

Peabody, MA |

Our ICA is a standard Massachusetts ICA taken from online. I am essentially this man's driver. He lost his license for 5yrs but is in sales and needs to be able to get to all his accounts. I started working for him on Feb 19 and our agreement is till next Feb, where we will renegotiate the terms.The termination clause states that either party needs to give 30 day notice in writing to terminate the agreement early. With that said, Monday I arrived at his place and he texts me that he had been arrested on Saturday because he drank and violated his probation, and was at court. He said he was fired from his job because he was going to jail. Long story short he lied and was quitting. I said we have a contact and you owe me $, he said sue me/ his "lawyer" said he doesn't have to pay(lies).

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Attorney answers 5


It is legal to break a contract but when a person does, they will be liable for damages. Here it would appear that you are entitled to damages for the 30 days of lost pay, at least. The amount may not be large enough to warrant significant litigation but you could still file a small claims action against him for the amount equaling 30 days compensation. There may be a misclassification case here too but it sounds like you may have a hard time collecting from this guy in any event. Consult with an attorney to review the written agreement and advise you on the best course of action.

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I am sorry about this. Just like any contract, you have a breaching party and a non-breaching party. He did not give enough notice and terminated the contract early. Hire an attorney and start the litigation process. A Judgment is good for 20 years.

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Call an employment attorney. You may be an employee and not an IC. That said, you may have a better claim as an IC. In either case you should speak to an attorney and bring the contract for review.

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I agree with Attorney Demoura - take your matter on your own to Small Claims Court. Good luck and best regards, Rob Fortgang - Employment Law Attorneys serving Massachusetts and Connecticut / 800-932-6457 / 413-658-8500 / 774-329-3412

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You should take your agreement to an attorney for review. It is quite possible that you were improperly classified as an independent contractor, and that you have viable wage claims. A lawyer may very likely be able to take your case on a contingent basis. You will want to retain counsel to send a demand and then file suit to recover your damages. Best of luck.

Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on generalized Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.

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