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wallstreetesq., Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 17080
Experience:  10 years, Corp litigation, Of Counsel to several global and nationwide corporation
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I hired a fellow as a 1099 contractor to do certain IT work

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I hired a fellow as a 1099 contractor to do certain IT work for $50/hour. We sent him to a variety of jobs and some he could complete, while others it seems he did not have the skills to finish. Other times he could complete the work but took much longer than expected. Now he has been working with us for some months. My bookkeeper notified me that his invoices total over $10,000, and that came as something of a shock. Now my question is this. Am I obligated to pay him the agreed-upon rate for work that did not produce any results?
Hello I am a licensed attorney here to help you with your question, please review my response and do not hesitate to ask for clarificati on.

Did you have any contract which outlined his services?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have a written agreement and scope of work. Unfortunately the scope of work is rather vague. It basically says that Mike will do IT stuff for us when we ask him to. I would assign him a case via our ticketing system. Sometimes the case would include a project plan with a scope of work for that particular job. He would not sign that scope and it was not formally attached to our agreement. It was the scope I had with my client, but it would outline how long certain tasks were expected to take. The way I look at it, each case or assignment became an additional scope of work on our original agreement, though it was never explicitly spelled out that way. I understand that I bear responsibility for his bill getting out of hand, I did not exercise appropriate oversight and didn't keep a sharp eye out for his invoices or demand to see an invoice when one was not immediately forthcoming. Also he sent his invoices to my bookkeeper directly and I never had a chance to review them. I should have been more explicit with him and my bookkeeper about how invoices were to be submitted and processed.
You should have a detailed contractors contract which defines what work needs to be done and an expected time frame for completion, in his situation you should deny the payment he requested and force him to justify the hours spent on each project. He would either settle with you or take you to court, where he would have to prove that the hours spent were actually for the work, and you would argue that a reasonable and competent professional would have performed the same services in less time.

I would withold the payment and try to settle.
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