I sub-contract out to a sub-contractor for Dish Network to install equipment.
I quit last friday and my employer says he is holding 500.00 dollars for 90 days in case he has to send someone on a service call of which he charges 40.00 for that service call.
I have never signed a contract or posted a bond with him.
Can he legally hold that 500.00 and should I take him to small claims court to get my money?
2 Answers from Attorneys
Re: Holding Wages?
DO LETTER, IN WRITING, TELLING HIM TO GIVE YOU ALL YOUR WAGES, THEN CONTACT THE CA LABOR BOARD
Re: Holding Wages?
Mr. Selik would be right if you were an employee. It's possible you were, even though you yourself characterize your relationship as a sub-contract.
If you are indeed a (sub)contractor, you aren't entitled to Labor Board relief. Your rights to immediate payment depend upon what your contract says.
If the contract is silent on the time for payment, then a court would "read in" an implied contract term that you should be paid within a reasonable time.
What time is "reasonable" depends upon further facts. If, for example, it were likely that there would be complaints about your work, withholding the $500 for a while might be reasonable.
The bottom line is, I suppose, that the time to go to small claims court is after any complaints about you would have been received, rather than now. At that time, you could ask for interest and court costs as well as the $500.
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