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Allen M., Esq.
Allen M., Esq., Employment Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 18809
Experience:  Employment/Labor Law Litigation
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If i am a contractor from an agency and the place that I work

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If i am a contractor from an agency and the place that I work used me to purchase things without reimbursing me along with staying there for long hours without paying me, could I take them to court, and what are my rights?
Thank you for your question today, I look forward to assisting you. I bring nearly 20 years of legal experience in various disciplines.

You would be able to take them to court based on two theories.

First, the issue of your pay would be entirely controlled by your contract. If you are a contractor, then you are paid in accordance with a contract. Failure to pay you for the hours that you worked in accordance with your contract is a breach of that contract, which gives you a simple breach of contract claim for those hours.

Second, on the issue of buying things, if you were of the understanding that you would be repaid, you can sue them for unjust enrichment or an implied contractual basis and seek reimbursement in that way.

Filing a police report isn't really going to be effective, because this is not considered criminal theft. You voluntarily worked and voluntarily bought these things....you just weren't paid for them, which is a civil wrong not a criminal wrong.

If you can manage it, you should file in small claims court, which only requires that you state that facts of your case rather than trying to fit those facts into specific legal claims. The court would figure it out for you. You can sue for up to $5000 in small claims. If the amount that you're talking about here is $5000, or even higher but within a reasonable amount to $5000 (like $6000 or $7000) it will be financially worth your time to file in small claims, as it is cheaper, faster and you don't have to pay an attorney.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What do you mean by "fitting those facts into specific legal claims, would'nt I have to prove that this agency cheated me in some way ( with documents or a witness in some sort?

Yes, you would.

It's just that, in a state court complaint you would have to fit your facts into very specific claims of law.

So, in a regular state court action, you'd have to have Allegation 1, Breach of Contract. Allegation 2, Unjust Enrichment. Allegation 3, in the alternative Implied contract.

It's just a lot more formal.

In small claims, your complaint need not be that formal. It just has to state the facts as you've stated them here, and the court would figure out what specific legal claims applied.

You still have to prove your facts, but it allows you to be less formal in your presentation. The point is that small claims is meant to be accessible to non-attorneys.
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