Legal Question in Employment Law in New York

I was hired by an interpreting agency as a freelance interpreter along with my six other colleagues. The agency "A" which we were hired was a sub-contracting agency of an agency "B" which has a contract with a state hospital.

We have been sent to assignments at a state hospital as usual. October 19th was our payroll (we are paid bi-weekly). That weekend, hurricane Sandy hit NYC area and we have experienced a hard time reaching the agencies A & B the next week due to power outage. On November 2nd, when we submit our time sheet for the next payroll, the person at agency "A" calls to say that the checks from October 19th will be mailed out next week and apologized for the delay. Whilst waiting for the checks to come in, on November 8th, we all receive an email from agency "A" stating that they are no longer affiliated with agency "B" and that we should all stop reporting to assignments as of November 9th.

Since that date, we are unable to reach agency "A" and have not been paid for the service for 5 weeks. Here are some things we attempted to do and what we got to know:

1) call agency "A" numerous times but our efforts has been fruitless

2) email the person who is in charge of company "A"requesting to contact us

3) contact agency "B" if they can help us

4) the contact person for agency "B" was fired from the agency due to conflict of interest. Come to find out, he was one of the co-founder of agency "A"

5) The address we have known for the agency company is the address for the company's CPA company.

My question is how can I collect what the company owes as soon as possible.

Asked on 11/23/12, 7:50 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Arnold Nager Arnold H. Nager, Esquire

I would file a claim against the hospital. Although you were hired by sub-contractors, they were agents for the hospital, and they ultimately pay the bill.

You should contact the Department of Labor. Failing that, file a wage claim against the hospital.

This post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is a comment on the legal question posed by the poster and should not be relied upon in any way. All readers are advised to consult an attorney to address their specific legal concerns. Additional facts could affect the answer given.

My comments are based on treating your question as a hypothetical. Accordingly, my comments could be substantially and materially different were I advised of all of the relevant facts and circumstances. My comments are by necessity general in nature, and should not be relied upon in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without retaining an attorney. In order to fully explore your legal matter, you should meet with me or another attorney and bring to any such meeting all relevant documents and correspondence, and any other relevant facts. I am not hired to be your attorney, and no attorney-client relationship exists between us, unless and until you enter into a written retainer agreement with me, tender the agreed amount for a retainer and it is accepted by me. I reserve the right to decline representation should circumstances change. As you are aware, in New York there are various deadlines for filing a complaint, filing an answer to a complaint, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights, and avoid a complete loss of those rights. You should retain counsel immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and to be fully informed of the applicable time period within which those rights must be asserted. If you were to delay in doing so, it might result in your potential cause of action being forever barred.

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Answered on 11/24/12, 8:01 am

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