The company that just laid me off won't give me my last paycheck!?

I have been working in Maryland as an independent photographer for an international company (US and Canada) and was laid off with no advance notice last week. This was at the end of a pay period, and they owe me a paycheck for about $1150.50. Because of my independent contractor status, I don't know what to do to force them to pay me. As it turns out, they paid everyone who had direct deposit, but anyone still receiving paper checks has had their pay 'held'. The whole thing has really put a world of hurt on my bank account, and I haven't been able to pay my mortgage or credit cards, thus incurring multiple fees. Any suggestion is GREATLY appreciated!


How have I been working illegally? This is a large company with offices in Scottsdale, AZ and Chicago, IL. I've photographed real estate for several companies over the past 15 yrs, and I have a hard time believing that these were 'illegal' positions. I file a 1099 like any other contractor.

Update 2:

FYI, I went to the website for AZ industrial commission, and they have a wage claim form for independent contractors. So I thank everyone for their attempt at an answer, but I think this shows that I can do this through the labor board. Thanks for directing me there!

7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Since you have been working as an independent contractor, please issue a legal notice to the company .Please report the matter to the labour board also.

    I personally feel that the company will settle your dues if you take this action.

  • Judy
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    If you had been an employee, you could report it to the state labor board and they'd handle it. Since you were an independent contractor, in most states they won't be involved - you'll have to sue to get your money.

    You worked in MD, so a form for AZ isn't likely to do you much good.

    Good luck.

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I don't find anything wrong with that. You're not mooching off your 'rents and you have what seems to be a pretty good job and some cash saved up for future expenses so I'd say you're definitely better off than most 29 year olds who are living on their own. Its tough out there and you have your head together so more power to you. The only downside would be having a significant other come over because of your 'rents. If they're ok with it I don't see why it would matter though.

  • Gem
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    First, it is not a "paycheck" if you were an independent contractor. It is a non-payment of a business vendors (you) invoice.

    You can call the state labor board, but you will be asking them to create more problems because you were working illegally.

    Do you have proof of what they owe? If yes, sue them in small claims court.

    Good luck finding a new job. Sorry.

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  • michr
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    you are not an employee...................

    they do not owe you a "pay-check"............

    what you are doing is totally legal but the department of labor has nothing to do with this because you are not an employee.

    you will have to deal with this through the civil courts.

    you should be able to file in small claims court if they have jurisdiction. if you have to file in Arizona or Illinois you will probably have to retain legal counsel.


    could you PLEASE post a link for that wage claim for a contractor?

    i can't find it on their site

    (Industrial Commission of Arizona

    and every other state i have found is very specific that they do not handle claims for contractors.

    this link would be great for future reference.

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    contact the Dept of Labor in Maryland. Report the company

  • 1 decade ago

    Call the labor board for your state

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