Employee Rights Law – 1099 Contractor Not Being Paid
As an independent contractor, you are agreeing to be paid “by the contract” and in doing so waive any typical protections or benefits an employee would enjoy, such as employer-paid workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance taxes; employer-shared social security contributions; unpaid but job-protected leave to care for sick family members Family Medical Leave Act, etc. This is bad for society.
Employers try to call their workers independent contractors so the employers don’t have to pay taxes or give benefits. In our experience employers also call their workers independent contractors in order to discourage workers from filing for unemployment. However, most workers are not truly independent contractors, whether or not they have an independent contractor agreement. They are actually employees. This is a good thing for the worker and for society, because if you are actually an employee, then you have much broader remedies for payment of what is owed to you, including penalties and attorneys fees. You are entitled to unemployment. Our advice to anyone who is not being paid is not to accept that they are independent contractors who have no rights, but really look into whether you are properly classified as an independent contractor, as many employers improperly misclassify their workers to avoid the responsibility of providing the benefits mentioned above.
You should contact an employment law attorney.
A good read for employers and workers appeared in Forbes Magazine in November. It is entitled Do I Want a 1099 or a W-2?