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Tina
Tina, Attorney
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 31689
Experience:  JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
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I was an independent contractor whoses contract was terminated

Customer Question

I was an independent contractor whoses contract was terminated by receiving a 30 day notice. I was removed from the premises and given a check for the last 2 weeks of work, another check for 2 weeks and an unused vacation time. Since I was remove from the job I did recieve a 30 day notice as my contract stipulate. If so I should have recieve payment for the 30 days I was not allowed to work on the job thus fuflling the 30 days.

AM I thinkng correctly about this situation
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

Would you normally have worked during the 30 day notice period? In other words, if no notice had been given by the company, would you have normally worked during that time? What is your legal question for me please?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.


Yes I was schedule to work the next month. It was unkown to me that I was going to receive the 30 notice.


 


My question is am I entitled to be paid for time I was not allowed to work based on my contract that says either party may given a 30 day notice to end the contract

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Hello again and thank you for providing this additional information.

Yes, the company would typically be obligated to pay you your regular rate during the 30 day notice period. Otherwise, the 30 day notice required under the contract would be virtually meaningless.

If you were available and willing to work during the 30 day notice period, the company would typically be obligated to permit you to work and if they refused, they would still be liable to pay you your regular rate. It appears they attempted to terminate the agreement with only a couple of weeks notice (even though they said 30 days) since they prevented you from working the full 30 days. Since the contract requires a full 30 days, you would normally be entitled to payment for that time and could file suit in small claims court seeking a judgment against them for the balance owed.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 10 months ago.


So based on the information you gave me I could ask the company to verify their stance before I go to small claims court.


How long do I have before I can't goto court.


And is it true that I can not cash the checks they have already given me as I was told by my employee?


 


 

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Hello again,

You can typically accept a partial payment and still pursue legal action. If the check indicates that it is payment in full, then you may not wish to deposit it since your acceptance could be viewed as an agreement that the payment is all that is due.

Yes, I would typically send a demand letter to the company prior to filing suit and provide them with a final opportunity to pay the balance due. It is usually best to send it by certified mail so you have proof it was received.

The statute of limitations for filing suit for breach of a written contract is typically 4 years so you would normally have that amount of time in which to initiate legal action from the date the contract was breached.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 10 months ago.

in small claim court am I entitled to wages and all fees and damges since they breached the contract?


 

Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
You would typically be entitled to the amount of compensation you would have received had the company not breached the contract. While employees are typically entitled to recover attorney's fees if they prevail on a wage claim, the law does not normally provide recovery of such fees for an independent contractor unless the contract itself indicates that the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover such fees.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Are the answers you gave state laws California ?
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
Yes, I am licensed in CA and was referring to CA law and general contract principles when I answered your questions.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The employees wants me to complete a voucher now for vacation days I assume to cover the 2 weeks that were not paid at this time would that be proper since it has already been an apparent breach of contract?
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Were you already owed these vacation days pursuant to your contract? Will they pay you for the additional two weeks if you complete the voucher?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Yes i was owed the vacation days, actually they will claim to have already paid me for vacation in the 2 weeks pay. And will not pay anymore because they don't have pay for time not worked I will need to hold until final check until voucher is sent and they will pay voucher in 7 days
Doesn't make sense to me
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.

Hello again,

Tina, Attorney
Satisfied Customers: 31689
Experience: JD, 16 years experience & recognized by ABA for excellence in employment law.
Tina and 2 other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
Hello again,

My follow-up answer to you was inadvertently deleted, so I am attempting to repost it.

If the vacation time is already owed to you and would be paid to you upon termination of your contract in any case, then you would normally be owed the additional 30 days pay (in addition to the vacation time owed) since the 30 day notice was not provided to you by the company as required by your contract.

Good luck with this and thank you very much for the positive rating of my service.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I was reading the Ca.gov labor law and it said when a company dismisses you then you are not entitled to get paid for a 30 day or 2 week notice because it is not time worked. You will receive final check and that is all you are due. So I am a little confused on how they would agree to pay me the 2 weeks I think they owe men.
Expert:  Tina replied 10 months ago.
Hello again.

That is the default rule for an employee who has no contract. You are an IC who has a contract so the labor code would not apply to you.

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