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JPEsq
JPEsq, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience:  Experience as both corporate in-house counsel and private counsel
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I am an independent contractor (Physical Therapist Assistant)

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I am an independent contractor (Physical Therapist Assistant) who was employed by an agency to provide Physical Therapy treatment. The agency I was contracted by paid me half of the monies owed with a check which was returned for insufficient funds. I have made several attempts to collect the outstanding debt ($720.00 in addition to the returned check fee of $12.00) from the responsible party (the agency's owner) and have been unsuccessful as she states she does not have the funds to pay me. She has now informed me that she is no longer operating her business as she has decided to pursue a nursing career and is "sorry for the inconvenience". What are the chances of me collecting the outstanding debt and what legal recourse do I have?

She owes you the money, there is no question there. So I would say that the chances of you getting a judgment in your favor are very good, nearing 100% barring something you neglected to mention, like bankruptcy. Whether you will actually be able to collect the judgment... that is the question.

 

If the agency was a legal entity like a corporation or LLC, you might have to go through an extra step to get a judgment. If the agency was really just a front for a 1 person operation, it sounds like you will probably be able to "pierce the veil" and get a judgment directly against the woman anyway (based on her lackadaisical treatment of the issue, it does not seem likely that she did everything that would be required to keep her self separate from her corporate entity). If the agency was just a sole proprietorship, just sue her directly and in the name of the agency.

 

You can do all of this in small claims court. It is set up for laypersons to navigate and should be easy enough for you to do.

If you get a judgment and she still won't pay, that is where you have to seek an attachment order to her bank account or a garnishment order of wages.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I'm not sure if the business is a corp or an LLC, but either way it was a business she was running from her home and she was the only one employed. When you say I may have to take extra steps to collect, what did you mean? And, Is there any way I can report her to the Dept of Labor or a professional board since she is pursuing a professional career in the healthcare industry and I am curious if her professional ethics would be of interest to the corresponding governing body.

I just meant that you would have to take the additional legal step of piercing the corporate veil. if she was running it out of her home, that would be pretty easy to do. That fact alone would probably be enough.

Since she is not a member of any professional board yet, I don't think you could report her. You can't make a wage claim to the department of labor, since you were not an employee. So it is a contract issue, handled in court.

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