I was working as a Software Engineer (Contractor) employed by a contracting company "A" located in California but working for the client company "B" in New York state. The issue is that I didn't get paid for the last 2.5 months of my work. I have tried contacting company A several times. At first, they responded sometimes saying that they will pay me a week or two weeks later. But since last 2 weeks, they have stopped responding me.

I have asked New York State Dept. of Labor for help but found out in one of their forms that they exclude from wage payment coverage those persons in administrative, executive or professional capacity whose earnings exceed $900 gross per week. Since I come under professional employment category and my earnings do exceed $900 per week, is it likely that dept. of labor, won't help me get my unpaid wages?

What are the other options I should look into? Please advice. Thank you in advance!

1 Answer 1


It does look as if you will need to file your own claim (or hire your own lawyer to do so), which you can do in state court. (It apears that contractors are not eligible to file in federal court.) The relevant provision seems to be New York Consolidated Laws, Labor Law - LAB § 198. Under paragraph 1-a of this law:

 In any action instituted in the courts upon a wage claim by an employee or the commissioner in which the employee prevails, the court shall allow such employee to recover the full amount of any underpayment, all reasonable attorney's fees, prejudgment interest as required under the civil practice law and rules, and, unless the employer proves a good faith basis to believe that its underpayment of wages was in compliance with the law, an additional amount as liquidated damages equal to one hundred percent of the total amount of the wages found to be due, except such liquidated damages may be up to three hundred percent of the total amount of the wages found to be due for a willful violation of section one hundred ninety-four of this article.

Since attorney's fees, and other costs, can be included with the damages, plus double damages, you should have no problem finding a competent and experienced lawyer to take on such a case, and would be wise to consult such a lawyer promptly. The NY statute of limitations is 6 years, but some aspects of the claim are only valid if a claim is filed sooner than that.

See Wage And Hour Claims and What's Your Unpaid Wage Claim Worth in New York? for further information.


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