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Independent Contract - Project on hold, termination and payment

Discussion in 'Independent Contractors & Consultants' started by Gillian, Jun 9, 2020.

  1. Gillian

    Gillian Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Jurisdiction:
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    I have been working on a healthcare IT project since November of 2019. The project was placed on "pause" on April 7 and all contractors were told that the client was making decisions about the future of project. We were asked not to work any hours until they figured it out. My contract is until 11/8/2020 and they are supposed to give 30 days written notices upon termination. Last Wednesday I text the project director and he said my contract was not moving forward because the team is going to be smaller and my function is going to be handled by the client in-house. I had been working almost full-time, which is usual for this type of project. My agreement for payment is hourly, so I had been billing over $20k for Jan. Feb. March - all work outlined in my scope of work. They are now saying they don't have to pay me for April, May or June because I did not complete any work and would have needed to approve work. This is because they said the project was paused. I believe they did not terminate us and used the word "pause" so they could retrain us until they decided how the project was going to look moving forward. I billed them for the three months yesterday and they said because I did not work, they don't owe me anything. There was no way to take on another job both based on the hours involved and because nobody was hiring during Covid. Bottom-line: What rights do I have in terms of expecting payment.
     
  2. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    This isn't about rights.
    It IS about the contract under which you were doing the work.
    Read their IRONCLAD contract to discover that there is no legal recourse for you.
    You can pay an attorney to read the contract for you, if you disbelieve your eyes.

    Even if money was owed to you, you'd have to go to court to ATTEMPT to recover it.

    You were a contractor, not an employee.

    The good news is that the contract IT space is heating up, again.

    If you have the skills, you'll find other gigs to work.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    I agree with the Judge. Your rights to payment are delineated in your contract. You will have to read it to determine if the client breached it.

    For $20,000 it would behoove you to have an attorney review the contract and advise you of your options. This is way too much money for small claims court. The small claims court limit is $10,000 and no lawyers are allowed.
     
  4. Zigner

    Zigner Well-Known Member

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    If a project is placed on "pause", that would mean, to any reasonable person, that you're not supposed to do any more work on it. It's pretty much the definition of the word.
     

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