How Can Independent Contractors Recover Unpaid Wages?

By Gregory Thyberg on October 16, 2022


contractor’s agreementNot being paid for work is a problem both employees and independent contractors face. But because independent contractors do not have the same protections as employees, many wonder what recourse they have when they don’t receive payment for their work.

A wage and hour lawyer can help workers collect unpaid wages. Attorney Gregory A. Thyberg represents clients in claims regarding unpaid wages and independent contractors in Sacramento, CA, and neighboring areas, helping them recover the wages they’re owed. If you are an independent contractor and haven’t received payment for your services, you are encouraged to contact Thyberg Law to learn more about recovering your unpaid wages.   

What Is an Independent Contractor?

Independent contractors are not the same as employees. There are several factors that set them apart and make collecting unpaid wages a unique situation. 

For example, one of the key differences is that independent contractors are usually paid by their services and not by wage or hour. 

Additionally, independent contractors are not directly supervised like employees typically are and do not receive benefits typically given to employees, like health insurance and paid sick time. 

Another key difference is that independent contractors usually have a signed contract with their client or the entity they’re providing a service to that stipulates the terms of their services, specifically how much they will be paid. 

What Protections Do Independent Contractors Have for Collecting Wages?

Unlike employees who are paid according to a set schedule, independent contractors are generally paid after the completion of a task or once a service has been provided as agreed upon by the contractor and the client. 

Even though independent contractors aren’t considered employees and therefore not covered by minimum wage laws or other employment laws, they are still entitled to payment for services provided.

Signed contracts are important in the event an independent contractor needs to fight for payment of their services. If there isn’t a contract, sending a claim for payment to the client detailing the services provided and the payment expected can help in collecting unpaid wages. 

Recovering Wages Through Small Claims Court 

If payment is still not received after reiterating the terms of the contract or providing a request for payment in writing in a reasonable amount of time, Sacramento independent contractors should consider consulting an attorney and taking their issue to small claims court. 

An attorney can help gather documentation such as contracts, previous payments, tax documentation, and written correspondence to support a claim for unpaid wages. Presenting such documentation can help build a strong case for recovering wages through small claims court. 

Contact Thyberg Law

Even though independent contractors are not considered employees, they still deserve to be paid for the work they provide their clients. If you haven’t been paid for work or services you provided as an independent contractor, it’s important to speak with an employment law attorney to recover wages you’re owed. Call our Sacramento law office at (916) 204-9173 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. 

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