Are freelancers able to file a claim with the NY DOL for unpaid wages?

I am a freelance editor who has not been paid by a media company for work done on their magazine in January 2011. I have signed contracts from them regarding the terms of delivery and rate of payment for the work, and everything was accepted and published without complaint. I submitted andinvoice in the amount of $446 at the time and have since followed up with numerous phone calls and e-mails. I was told about a month that a check would be out by the end of that week. There was no check, and now no response to e-mails or phone messages. Is there any recourse for freelncers in this position?

1 answer  |  asked May 23, 2011 10:24 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

Jeanne M. Valentine
When you say "freelance" editor, I presume you are an independent contractor, and not an employee. If so, then your recourse won't be with the Department of Labor but rather in court with a lawsuit for breach of contract. Look to your contract for terms of payment - I hope you have terms in there that say when payment is due, what interest will be charged if late, and that the payor is responsible for your legal and collection fees if you are forced to employ those measures to get paid. If you are to be paid a commission, then there are NY Labor Laws that dictate timing of payment but I don't read that in your question. If you are paid a commission, write back and let me know. You can probably get a lawyer to send a formal letter on your behalf demanding payment. Perhaps that will get their attention so you aren't forced to go to court. If you call my firm for help, let them know you were referred by me from this website. Good luck.

Jeanne M. Valentine
The Valentine Law Office PLLC
(845) 497-5010

posted by Jeanne M. Valentine  |  May 23, 2011 12:10 PM [EST]

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