Independent contractor not getting paid on time. What should i do?
3 attorney answers
As an independent contractor, you do not have the same rights as an employee. Your recourse for non-payment is a breach of contract lawsuit--most likely small claims. Often independent contractors are misclassified. You may want to contact an employment attorney to determine if you have been properly classified as an independent contractor. If you have been misclassified, you may have the right to take legal action against your employer to recover back wages and other penalties. Good luck!
Independent contractors do not have the same rights as employees. If you are truly an independent contractor, the terms of your relationship with the company you provide services for are contained in the contract you have with the company. If the company is breaching the terms of that contract, your only recourse is to sue the company for breach of that contract. But the damages you can seek are limited to the losses suffered as a result of that breach unless you were able to negotiate a penalty or liquidated damages clause in the event of a breach such as a late payment. Without such a clause, suing the company every time it is late paying you would be impractical. Consequently, if the company you have contracted with continues to be unreliable, your other option would be to end your relationship with it and move on.
Having said all that, many companies misclassify employees as independent contractors to avoid the expenses that go along with an employment relationship, such as having to contribute to social security, unemployment and workers compensation insurance, pay benefits, etc. There are many factors which help determine whether you are an employee or an independent contractor in the eyes of the law none of which were addressed in your post. If you are really an employee, the employer is required to pay its employees on the stated pay day and there are other labor law rights which may apply, as well. You would have to consult with an employment law attorney to help you determine where you stand with this company and what you best options are, as a result.
They say you get what you pay for, and this response is free, so take it for what it is worth. This is my opinion based on very limited information. My opinion should not be taken as legal advice. For true advice, we would require a confidential consultation where I would ask you questions and get your complete story. This is a public forum, so remember, nothing here is confidential. Nor am I your attorney. I do not know who you are and you have not hired me to provide any legal service. To do so would require us to meet and sign written retainer agreement. My responses are intended for general information only.