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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 111655
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was freelancing company and only had email correspondences

Customer Question

I was freelancing for a company and only had email correspondences for non-conference call requests and feedback. When I initially decided to take on the project, I provided my hourly rate, when time and a half would start (after an 8hour day), and that I would take on the project. The project started, and after it was delivered, I was provided with PO stating that 4 phases would cost a set amount of money. I noted in my email that I was already at a set amount of hours (really close to their budget), and would start with that PO rate however, if I got close to the number I would provide a warning/notice so they could proceed accordingly. But at that moment I would have to stop working until that was resolved.
I provided them with the notice, they told me that the project would be extended another 5 weeks and that I would have more hours. I assumed that was their needing me to continue, so I did. They were now a few hours over budget, I sent the invoice, and they emailed me that they refused to pay the overages in that invoice $325, and that work was late (though I had email proof that it was not). They changed that story to saying that I wasn't on conference calls (though I was on 5/6 the two I missed was due to me being in the hospital, the other power outage)...so I settled with their final number. They refused to acknowledge whether the invoice was approved for 2 days after I re-submittied it. Finally, the HR director is saying that she is authorized to approve my invoice, and while this doesn't make sense, I sent them the files that they only needed for their records (as I had already delivered everything they needed for a launch).
This is very detailed, but am I able to sue for the money they owed after I decided to revise my invoice?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.
If they are not paying you for time worked and you have sent them the invoice, then you have a breach of contract with you and you can sue in small claims court to recover your money.
Because you were an independent contractor under a contract for work with them, the US Department of Labor will not get involved. This would be a civil matter for breach of contract and that could be handled by suing in small claims.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. Woukd that be the same evwn if Im in LA and their homebase is San Francisco? Would I need to file for small claims near them, and could I add the court fees to the requirements for payment if my case is rewarded?
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.
Yes, you would need to file suit in their city where they are located, because the small claims court has very limited personal jurisdiction. Thus, they could not have personal jurisdiction over the defendant unless it was the court in the city where the defendant is located.
YOU can add court fees as part of your damages as well as reasonable costs of travel to the court.