You may have remedies available to you under different labor laws. Please don’t tolerate this behavior; consult an experienced employment lawyer as soon as possible so that you can get legal advice about how to get paid for the work you did.
It is important that the hours you worked and the monies you have received so far, are logged in on your personal calendar at home. You should also note in your personal calendar who else has witnessed you working at the auto body shop—in the event that your employer denies you ever worked there. Some of our clients in similar situations have also taken photos of themselves at work or with their boss.
Also, if there are others who are not being paid their lawful wages, they too, would benefit from legal advice from an experienced employment lawyer.
-Denise K. Bonnaig
If you were working "off the books", you are most likely an independent contractor. If you are an independent contractor, you are not protected by the labor laws. Your only remedy is to file a claim in a court with proper jurisdiction (either small claims or civil court depending on the amount you are owed).
All answers given are my opinions based on the limited facts given. No answers should be relied upon without a full consultation. To make an appointment, please call: 631.988.0976.
I suggest you contact the New York State Department of Labor Wage Enforcement Division or schedule a free consultation with an experienced employment attorney immediately.
This answer does not constitute legal advice and you should contact an attorney to confirm or research further any statements made in this answer. Any statements of fact or law I have made in this answer pertain solely to New York State and should not be relied upon in any way in any other jurisdiction. Additionally, we also encourage you to reach out to us via Twitter (https://twitter.com/#!/WhiteRoseMarks) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/WhiteRoseMarks) if you have follow up questions as we do not monitor questions after providing an initial answer.
You are entitled to be paid at the rate agreed upon between you and your employer. Article 6 of the New York State Labor Law protects employees from this type of behavior and provides statutory penalties in addition to money damages to deter this behavior. I agree with the suggestion to complain to the Department of Labor and also agree that you should contact a lawyer if your employer does not change its behavior.