Everyone should always get paid for the work they perform. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. If you did a job and received no payment for it, you have options available to you that you can discuss with a business lawyer in Bethesda, MD. Never feel like you cannot get the money you are due, because the law is very clear about what your rights are. This guide will help you figure out what you should do about this unfortunate situation.
The first thing you should do is figure out what your rights are. Each state has differing laws about labor, payment, and ownership. This means you need to do your own research. It is a very good idea to speak with a business law attorney or labor attorney to learn what the laws are in your particular state. Keep in mind that your options will vary slightly depending on whether you are employed by the person who owes you money.
Employment Missed Paychecks
If you are employed and do not receive a paycheck, then your case is extremely good. You can easily prove that you were owed payment and never received it. This is what you should do:
- Speak to your employer. Ask firmly for the money you are owed. Always have this request in writing as well.
- File a claim with your state’s labor agency. The exact process to do this will depend on which state you are in.
- File a suit in small claims court.
It is very easy and fast to file a suit in small claims court. This is exactly the kind of situation small claims court is designed for. It is also extremely inexpensive to file this kind of claim, with a fee that is usually $100 or less. You can usually have your legal fees paid by the defendant as well.
Other Missed Payments
If you are not employed, but rather chose to provide a service on your own, it may be more difficult to receive a missed payment. To win your case, you need to have agreed to a certain amount of payment prior to doing the work. Even if you did not sign a contract, you may still win your case. In this situation, you should first try to come to an agreement with the individual. If that does not work, go straight to filing a small claims suit. This is only a viable option if you were owed a few hundred dollars or more. If the amount is too small, no judge will proceed over the case.
Thanks to Brown Kiely, LLP for their insight into business law and getting paid for work.