Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
Unfortunately, "independent contractors" are not "employees" and in some states departments of labor can only seek compensation claims for employes, not independent contractors due to the way the laws are written. However, independent contractors may, if they are not paid for work they have done, file a civil suit to obtain payment for the work they performed. Also, if this company is doing this to many it may also be possible to contact the state's Attorney General's office or office of consumer protection (in some states it is a separate office) to see if this falls under consumer deception and may be investigated by them.
There may be a violation of consumer protection or misrepresentation if they normally advertise jobs under certain conditions but then do not meet those conditions. A person may normally file cases themselves, particularly if the amount being sued for allows them to file in small claims court. Also, many courts today have "self help" areas and resources people can use to learn about the court system and to obtain the forms they may need to file. Whether courts costs may be obtained is something you may ask the court about.
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