Non payment of Services

I am an H1B software engineer. I work as a consultant for companies on projects for a limited duration. the placement agencies is the middleman i.e they are paid by the company and then i am paid by the placement companies.

The problem is that I have not been paid for my previous employment by my placement company. Whenever I ask them to pay me they tell me stories that the client has not yet paid, or that they had mailed one check to me 2 weeks ago but it's not their fault that it has not reached me. Now they have even stopped picking phones. I can no longer contact them.
I am now running out of finances and need to find some way of getting back my hard earned money. Afetr all it's my money.
Please tell me how I must approach them to pay me.(using legal means).

1 answer  |  asked Jul 17, 2003 07:40 AM [EST]  |  applies to New York

Answers (1)

David M. Lira
Non-Payment of Wages

Under New York State law, employers have a clear obligation to pay their employees promptly. Although employers will sometimes tell employees on HIB visas that they do not have the same rights as employees who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, that simply is not true.

If an employer fails to pay wages, its employees can sue for those wages. This is often done in small claims court, although, if the amount is great enough, you might have to go to Civil or District Court, or Supreme Court. If the amount involved is small, you can ask the New York State Department of Labor to help. I have heard that employees on H1B visas might even get help from the INS.

The New York law provides for attorneys' fees. That is, if you win, the employer might end up liable for your attorneys' fees. New York law also provides for an add-on (a kind of a penalty) called liquidated damages. Liquidated damages are paid to the employee.

posted by David M. Lira  |  Jul 17, 2003 08:49 AM [EST]

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