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I was doing a programming job for a US company as a consultant by a contract. After a few months at day X they sent me an email with termination notice (i.e. fired me at day X), closed all my accounts and accesses at day X also and after that they paid me salary up to day X inclusive.

But the termination condition in the contract states the following:

Term and Termination.

Consultant shall serve as a consultant to the Company for a period commencing on the date hereof and terminating on the earlier of (a) the date Consultant completes the provision of the Services to the Company under this Agreement, or (b) the date Consultant shall have been paid the maximum amount of consulting fees as provided in Exhibit B hereto.

Notwithstanding the above, either party may terminate this Agreement at any time upon three (3) business days’ written notice. In the event of such termination, Consultant shall be paid for any portion of the Services that have been performed prior to the termination.

So the question - must they paid me for +3 days more?

Yes I didn't make any services for them after day X, but as I understand they should have written the termination notice 3 days beforehand and pay for these 3 days too regardless how much services I did during this 3 days.

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Some US states has "at-will" employment, California being one such -- which means that they are allowed to create contracts where you can be terminated without notice. However the point here is that you contract explicitly states that there should be a 3 day notice -- I don't know what the rest of the contract says, for example does it say that they have to authorize any work on a daily basis before undertaken? are you billing on actual hours of work done, or is based on a fixed 8 hours per day? etc... That may determine whether you are actually owed any monies for the notice period -- i.e. they could give you 3 days notice for which they didn't authorize you to bill any hours anyway.

If you do beleive that you would have been authorized to bill hours doing the 3 day notice period, you may be able to take them to small claims court.

However you may also consider why they terminated the contract. If they ran out of monies, they may not be able to pay anyway. If they were unhappy with your work, they may claim that you were fired under a trial period. The point here is that you should consider the practicality of if there are any chance that you will ever get paid regardless of if you are in the right or not.

Personally, I would just send them a bill for the 3 days and see what happens.

  • 1) they don't run out of monies as they paid to other developers normally 2) there is no trial period in contract, and I've been working for a half a year 3) no any other terms regarding billing me on actual hours of done work, daily basis and so on. So practicality of paying seems OK. But what does it mean - sending them a bill for 3 days? I'm communicating with CEO by email, should I fill some an official bill form and send them? – yetanothercoder Mar 19 '16 at 19:52
  • Yes, you bill them for 3 days the same way as you have billed them for the previous 6 months. – Soren Mar 19 '16 at 23:48

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