Employment Law Questions? Ask an Employment Lawyer.
It really depends on the terms of the employment agreement. If the employment agreement states that you will strictly start on a certain date and end on a certain date, then you could possibly argue that the agency is breaching this agreement improperly and that you should not have to wait to start the assignment. However, if the terms of the agreement simply state that the assignment will be 13 weeks and there is no definite start or end date, then there could be some difficulty in trying to argue a case against the agency.
This really comes down to how much you want to press the agency.
You technically have the right to only work from the start date and the end date. You being more than willing to work during that period, it is the agencies fault that you are not able to start on the start date. As a result you could argue that you should be paid the full amount while still only working until the end date stated. Technically, you had to avoid having to work in expectation that the start date would be what was stated. Additionally, you could have found another job after the end date.
There are different avenues you could take. First, you could just agree to work when they want you to work. That way you avoid any disputes.
Second, you could raise an argument within the agency in an attempt to get a better deal than what is currently provided to you. There is no guarantee that you would get what you want but you avoid legal costs.
Third, you could strictly adhere to the start and end date. If you follow this path, you would most likely have to file a lawsuit to get the payment that is due to you. This would involve legal costs and probably more of a headache than it is worth. If your employment contract includes a mediation clause, you could go to mediation. But that is time-consuming as well and not guaranteed that you would get what you are owed without having to eventually go to court.
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