I had worked 2 weeks for at an event through a temp staffing agency. The last day of work was April 2nd. A week latter I submitted my invoice. I still haven’t gotten paid. How long does an employer have to pay for a service? This is in BC, Canada.

I doubt more information is required but here’s some background: The temp agency claims I am a contractor, though I don’t see how this works as they made my schedule and tell me how to do the job etc. We had an averaging agreement for hours worked and there was no overtime. Also a week ago they sent me a contract to sign saying they had forgotten to send it before work, though I doubt this has any affect on when they were supposed to pay me.

According to here

An employee must be paid in full within 48 hours after the employer ends the employment, or within six days if the employee quits.

Though since the employer is trying to play up I'm a contractor, I'm not sure if this applies.

1 Answer 1


According to Business Law in Canada (Yates et al, 11e) there are 2 tests generally used, which you seem to be at least tangentially familiar with: The control test and the organization test. This is my best summary of theses tests:

An employer:

  • Tells you how and when to work
  • Has the right to supervise and direct
  • Supplies tools
  • Has a reasonable expectation you do not work for the competition
  • Pays you hourly or by the day, not by the job

In contract jobs:

  • set your own schedule and work conditions
  • you are paid by the job (per house or perhaps by square foot or unit produced)
  • makes no guarantee for ongoing work
  • you may or may not supply your own tools
  • Expectation of exclusivity must be stated up front
  • Financial risks, benefits and investments are mostly borne by you

There is also a good list on the CRA Website

The fact that they sent you a contract after the fact is a clear indication that they know you are technically an employee, along with the fact you were paid hourly and other things you mentioned, however, a little more information, like who supplied tools and what kind of supervision and instruction there was, would be needed to be more certain.

Final Answer: If you're an employee, BC labor code applies. If you're a contractor, you may end up in small claims court if they haven't paid in a reasonable time. Make sure you don't sign anything without consulting a lawyer, and that you send them a demand for payment of some sort, preferably in a way that can be shown in court.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, just a guy reading out of a business law book.

  • 1
    Worth noting that signing a contract that says you are a contractor when you are, in fact, an employee doesn't change your status - you are still an employee.
    – Dale M
    May 23, 2017 at 2:19
  • Even if I am considered a contractor, do you know how much time is considered "reasonable" to pay me? I'm guessing 2 months is over the limit and them saying they forgot to get me to sign some paper work doesn't change it. If you have any related links, please share. May 23, 2017 at 6:08
  • I would say at this point you would be wise to consult a lawyer. To me, 2 months without any idea of when you'll be paid is unreasonable unless there are circumstances like maybe they don't know how to contact you or you haven't been annoying enough to them.
    – inund8
    May 23, 2017 at 19:26
  • hey mr @namegoeshere I'm super curious how this turned out for you (4 years later)
    – inund8
    Jun 1, 2021 at 2:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .